Secrets & Lies (Roughshod Rollers MC 3)

Page 80

A smile twitches at my lips.
“Yes please.”
“Ok. I’ll come around with Owen.”
That will give me an entire day to myself. I can mope as much as I want, and then pull myself together in time for Jessica and Owen to arrive. I need that time more than I can say.
I almost put the phone down, but then I hesitate. I haven’t replied to Grant’s message yet. I look at it again.
“Sorry. I can’t do it.”
Simple but full of so much meaning. Tears burn in my eyes. I don’t blame Grant at all. I left him. I hurt him. It’s only natural that he’d find it so difficult to forgive me completely. Even if we did get back together, it would probably be a long, long time before he could find it in him to trust me again.
And that’s not a good basis for a relationship.
Grant is doing the right thing. I think we both know it, even if there’s a part of me that isn’t ready to admit it yet. I close the message down and sigh.
Even if I know it’s the right thing, it’s still hard.
I roll over and face my bedside table. There are two drawers in it. The first drawer is where I keep a brush, some spare cords and a few dockets that I haven’t gotten around to throwing away; small, worthless things.
But it’s the second drawer I’m looking at. I haven’t opened it in years. I reach out and slide it open, looking at the folder full of loose-leaf papers and hastily written notes inside.
My heart freezes. I haven’t looked at this since I left Grant. I shoved it in there and didn’t even bother packing it when Owen and I moved to this place, leaving it to collect dust inside the drawer, where I could pretend I forgot about it.
But I never forgot about it. If I had forgotten about it, I wouldn’t have stayed away from Grant for so long.
I don’t remember reaching out and grabbing it, feeling almost dazed as I’m lost in memories of what I’ve done. I blink and the folder is sitting, closed, in front of me.
These are the notes that I collected three years ago. Pictures of all the newspaper articles and court notes that I saw in Grant’s small collection of damning evidence. Scrawled dot points in my own handwriting on what I had stupidly deduced. Stolen evidence and pictures of Alex’s investigative reports, including the interview with Grant’s arresting officer.
I had them all. I had put them together three years ago and believed I knew the truth. Then, scared and paranoid, I ran.
It’s easy to think, now, how stupid I was. But, as I stare at the folder, I remember how terrified I had been. Was my boyfriend a murderer? Everyone else seemed to think so. What would happen to me if I confronted him?
My biggest mistake had been jumping to conclusions and not waiting for Alex to finish his investigation. If I’d waited, maybe Alex would have been able to tell me if Grant was actually guilty.
Though, speaking of…
Grant hasn’t told me, yet, whether he’s guilty or not. I realize this suddenly, blinking down at the folder. Yet, not once have I cared about this. Why? I’ve been throwing myself at him, begging for a second chance, but I haven’t thought about the fear that encompassed me so long ago.
It’s because I’m finally thinking about it logically, I realize. If Grant was guilty, he would have been in jail. I never would have met him. Yet he was walking free, so he must have been found innocent in the court case.
I’m…not scared of Grant.
It’s strange that this thought would hit me now, after everything that’s happened so far, but it’s actually more world-shaking than it seems. I fled and hid Grant’s son from him because I was so scared. When did I stop being scared? I think it might have been before I even reunited with him, at some point when I stopped worrying that he would come after me and started wishing that he would. Then, he was right in front of me and none of the things I had been terrified of three years ago seemed to matter any more.
I reach out to open the folder, and then pause. I don’t want to look at these things anymore. Not because it makes dread curl in my stomach, as it did when I first threw it in the drawer, but because I don’t care about any of it. Part of me thinks that I should throw it away.
But I think I’ll show it to Grant first. He deserves to see this. Maybe it might hurt, to see the physical evidence of the investigation I did on him. But perhaps I can make th
ings right by showing him how little I care about it.
I push it away, suddenly disgusted with it and the fear my past self felt. Then I flop down on the bed and close my eyes again. I don’t want to think about any of this anymore.
At almost precisely five-thirty, my doorbell rings. Allison, who would have picked Owen up at five, has made good time. Sometimes it takes me an hour to get out of the daycare, what with having to chat with the other parents, catch up with the teachers and herd Owen out to the car with all his belongings. More often than not, we have to go back in two or three times to retrieve something he’s forgotten.