Don't Love A LiarBy: Cynthia Eden
Someone had tucked her doll in bed. Eight-year-old Kennedy smiled as she skipped forward. She’d been looking for her doll all morning. She called her Kaylie, and Kaylie was her absolute favorite doll. Because Kaylie looked just like her. Her mother had gotten the doll made especially for Kennedy.
She stopped by the side of the bed, the pink comforter brushing her arm as she leaned forward, but just before she touched her doll, Kennedy stilled. Something was wrong.
Her hand flew away from the doll as Kennedy’s breath left her in a fast rush.
Kaylie’s pretty blue eyes…her eyes were gone. Two gaping sockets just stared back at her. Kennedy opened her mouth to scream.
The floor creaked behind her. She whirled around even as she felt tears slide down her cheeks.
Her brother stood here. His hands were fisted at his sides. His head was slanted forward, and his dark hair tumbled over his forehead. Not looking at her, he said, “I’m sorry about your doll.”
Her knees were shaking. She’d loved that doll, and he knew it. “What did you do?”
His head tilted back. He looked at her—his eyes exactly like her own. “I don’t think it hurt her. She never made a sound…”
Her dress was blood-red. A fitting choice. She glided into the ballroom, the red dress hugging her figure, then swirling out near her long, long legs. A thousand white lights glittered around her, making her seem to shine. To fucking sparkle as she lifted her chin high and acted as if she owned that whole room.
There were whispers. Of course, there were whispers. She was Kennedy Clarke, the scandal of the hour, and even though she’d been the one to spearhead this charity party, half the folks there hadn’t thought that she’d actually show for the big event. Not with all the dark and twisted drama surrounding her missing brother Kyle.
But Kennedy just strolled right through the crowd, pausing only to pick up a slender champagne flute. She had to hear the other voices. Remy St. Clair could sure as hell hear them, and he was standing alone near a back wall.
“Kyle killed his fiancée, did you hear? Tortured that poor girl…”
Kennedy paused to watch the band.
“I don’t think they found his body. Do you really believe he killed himself rather than go to jail?”
Her head tilted back. Her long, black hair trailed over her shoulders. She took a sip of her champagne and then went to study the giant Christmas tree that sat in the middle of the room.
“There could be other victims. The police think there are more.”
She smiled as she stared at the tree. At all of the presents underneath it. The charity gala was to raise money for the local children’s hospital. All the guests there had donated hefty sums, and they’d brought in presents for the children.
“Do you think she knew? Did she help him to vanish?”
Her delicate shoulders stiffened. Her head turned, but she didn’t look at the gossiping woman with the overly loud voice. Instead, she looked— Straight at Remy.
Bright, bright blue eyes.
Eyes that seemed to hit him with the force of an electric shock.
He’d seen pictures of her before. He always studied his prey carefully before he moved in. Remy had known that Kennedy was beautiful. Rich, gorgeous, smart. Sexy.
He’d prepared for all of that, and yet…
Seeing her in person somehow made him feel caught off-guard. He didn’t look away from her. Didn’t even force a fake smile. He couldn’t. All he could do was stare into her eyes and realize that he wanted the beautiful and dangerous Kennedy Clarke.
He felt the lust burn through his body. Felt the white-hot attraction that would be a serious problem. But he just went with it. He let the desire burn for her, and he knew it would show in his eyes.
It would show, and the next step would be up to her.
For a moment, she seemed to hesitate. Her chest rose and fell too quickly, but then Kennedy headed toward him. A waiter passed her, and she put her barely-touched champagne flute on his empty tray. Her gaze stayed locked on Remy. And when she was close enough, he caught her scent. Strawberries. She smelled like sweet strawberries.
He’d always loved them.
“Hello.” Her head tilted. Her gaze held his. “I don’t think we’ve met.”