Made for You Page 75

When I return to the daybed, Reid is already there with his shoes kicked off. He doesn’t comment on my clothes, and I’m relieved by that. I couldn’t leave my legs bare, even though the shirt hangs past my hips. I know the thick layer of cotton won’t protect me, but it eases my mind a tiny bit.

Reid pats the bed beside him. “I’ll hold you until you fall asleep.”

“I’m not tired.”

“You will be.” He pats the bed again, and I sit. Reid continues, “Then I can sleep too. I do want to trust you, but we’re not there yet and I don’t want you to try to hurt me in my sleep. We won’t always need the medicine.”

“I thought you only wanted me so Eva would come.” I try not to whimper as he wraps an arm around me and pulls me to him. He lies back on the bed, pulling me down so my head is on his shoulder, and wrapping an arm securely around me. It feels worse somehow that he’s holding me like I’m his girlfriend.

He straightens the chain so it’s behind me. “That was the plan, but everything happens for a reason. I don’t always see the Lord’s plans until I’m in them. It’s hard to explain. We don’t have to decide today.”

I feel the drugs start to take hold of me, and I whisper a prayer in my mind, “Please don’t do anything while I’m unconscious.”

Obviously, I must have said it aloud not in my head, though, because he answers, “I wouldn’t do that. I’m not a monster, Grace.”

DAY 15: “THE GUN”

Eva

DETECTIVE GRANT ARRIVES QUICKLY. My mother had me forward that horrible picture to her before she even arrived.

“My husband’s on his way home, but do you mind if I set the house alarm?” my mother asks.

“That’s fine, Mrs. Tilling,” Detective Grant says.

After my mother walks away, the detective sits in the chair across from me, and then she looks at me and turns on her recorder. “We’re going to go through what happened step by step.”

She says her name, the date, the time, where we are, and a case number. Then she says, “I need you to state your name, and then tell me about Reid Benson’s arrival here today.”

I summarize it as best I can, telling her that Reid was wet and muddy when he arrived, and that he seemed off and what he said as best I remember. I finish with “. . . and there was that picture. I can’t believe this. I’ve known Reid my whole life. We’re friends. He’s friends with all of us.”

“Including Amy Crowne?”

I nod.

“Michelle Adams?” the detective prompts.

“He knew Micki, but we all know the same people. Jamie, Grayson, Robert, Piper. We’ve all known each other our whole lives.”

Nate comes to stand beside me, and I reach out and take his hand.

Detective Grant glances at Nate and then at my mother. “What was Mr. Reid’s relationship with Madison Tremont?”

The tone in her voice lets me know more than I want. The detective sounds like she did when she asked about Amy; her voice has gone calm and emotionless.

“Madison was the one in the picture he sent,” I say, hoping I’m wrong.

Detective Grant doesn’t deny it.

Nate’s grip on my hand tightens. There are tears falling down my cheeks, and I can’t speak. I talked to Reid about her yesterday in this very room. I thought we were talking about him liking her. Then he showed up here today, mud covered and telling me he loved me. I think back to Amy’s death, drowned at the lake, and the mud on Reid seems more damning than I can process. I take a breath, my chest shaking as I gulp air. I don’t want these things to be true.

“He was here yesterday,” Nate answers the detective. He sits down on the sofa next to me. “They both were. Eva thought he liked Madison.”

I answer then, “Nate wasn’t with me when Reid and I talked about Madison. Nate was with Madison, and Reid was watching her. I suggested . . .” I look at the detective, stare straight into her eyes as the unavoidable truth settles on me.

“I suggested he talk to Madison. I thought . . . I thought he meant to date her. . . . He killed her. Reid killed her.”

“Miss Tremont is dead,” Detective Grant confirms just as my mother returns.

Hearing it said aloud is somehow worse than just thinking it. I saw Madison yesterday. She was here in my house talking to Nate. I talked to Reid about her. He held my wrist, and I thought he was the victim. I wonder if I would’ve seen him kill Madison if she came near enough that I could see her death. I start shaking as I say, “He drove Grace home. Grace and CeCe Watkins. Oh my God! I need my phone.” I try to get up, but Nate stops me.

“I’ll grab it,” he says.

“Grace needs to stay in her house.” I look from the detective to my mother. My voice gets shriller and shriller as I tell them, “You need to find Mrs. Yeung and send her home, and CeCe, we need to text CeCe. What if he thinks I was telling him to talk to them too. I sent them with him after I said I thought he should do something about his feelings for Madison.”

The detective steps out of the room and makes a quick call. My mother walks away to call Mrs. Yeung, and the detective offers me what looks like sympathy, but it makes me feel worse. Guilt twists through me. I think back to the messages in the flowers, the cicada, the card that said “yours,” the words cut into Amy’s skin, and the new words in Madison’s skin. He did all of those things in some sick attempt to send me a message. I should’ve known. I should’ve figured it out somehow.

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