Deception (Infidelity #3)

Deception (Infidelity #3)

Aleatha Romig



I don’t often do dedications. I’m making an exception.

I want to dedicate this book to the greatest man I had the pleasure of knowing. To the man who ended up with me because he fell in love with my mother. To the man who changed both of our lives for the better from the first day we met.

This is not to my “stepfather,” but to my dad and grandpa to my children.

Thank you for loving me, having faith in my dreams, and always supporting me.

I hope I made you proud.

You will live forever in the hearts of those of us who loved you.





The Infidelity series contains adult content and is intended for mature audiences. While the use of overly descriptive language is infrequent, the subject matter is targeted at readers over the age of eighteen.

Infidelity is a five-book romantic suspense series. Each individual book will end in a way that will hopefully make you want more until we reach the end of the epic journey.

The Infidelity series does not advocate or glorify cheating. This series is about the inner struggle of compromising your beliefs for your heart. It is about cheating on yourself, not someone else.

I hope you enjoy the epic tale of INFIDELITY!





Book THREE of FIVE in Aleatha Romig’s INFIDELITY series.

“Infidelity - it isn’t what you think”

It all began in Del Mar, a chance meeting with a single rule—one week only.

Or did it?

Lennox ‘Nox’ Demetri and Alexandria ‘Charli’ Collins had every intention of following their agreement but rules are made to be broken. In CUNNING they are reunited with Nox setting down new rules for the game and Charli having no choice but to follow them.

Now, once again, the game has changed. Nox and Charli’s hot sensual encounter has grown into something more but it is threatened with secrets and regrets. Is it their love and intense sexual chemistry that’s pushing them together or something darker, a puppetmaster behind the scenes pulling the strings on their love affair?

Shadowy villains lurk around each corner and everyone is suspect as Nox’s and Charli’s pasts collide with the present and threaten to compel them back to their predestined fates.

Can deals brokered in the past be negated by something as pure as love and as steamy as the attraction shared by Nox and Charli? Or was it all a deception—starting with that very first meeting?

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Aleatha Romig comes a sexy, new dominant hero who knows what he wants and a strong-willed heroine who has plans of her own. With classic Aleatha Romig twists and turns, the depth of this epic romantic suspense continues to reach new levels as past and present intertwine. The Infidelity series will have readers swooning one minute and screaming the next.

Have you been Aleatha’d?

DECEPTION is a full-length novel, over 350 pages, and the third of five books in the INFIDELITY series - It isn’t what you think!

(This series is not about nor does it advocate or condone cheating)





I SAW THE plain white envelope lying on the middle of my desk. Slowly, I moved forward, confident it hadn’t been there earlier in the evening. My feet barely moved as I made my way around the desk. It was like a dream as I floated closer, as if the envelope were a snake and would sense my sudden movement and strike.

Alexandria was scrolled across the front.

My heart did triple time as I reached for it. Blood coursed through my veins and through my ears, muting the world around me. With shaking fingers, I lifted it and opened the flap.

The first page was a picture. I’d never seen the woman before, but she looked familiar. It was because she looked like me. Her hair wasn’t auburn but beautiful rich shades of brown, long and flowing about the same length as mine. Her eyes were a soft brown, darker than mine, but with golden flecks. She was smiling at the camera and dressed in something red. It was only a headshot.

I sank to the chair. I didn’t want to keep looking, but like gawking at a train wreck, I couldn’t look away. My heart knew who she was, but it needed confirmation. I moved the picture to the back of the stack of pages and began to read.



Alexandria,

I’m sure you’re mad or even freaked out that I had this put where you’d find it. I’m sorry. I won’t say that I’m not trying to scare you. I am.

You won’t return my calls. You won’t return my text messages even when Adelaide explained how much I need you. Now I need you to listen. Please listen. Please keep reading.

You know who she is, don’t you? The woman in the picture?

Her name was Jocelyn Marie Matthews Demetri.



My stomach sank. I needed to stop, to show this to Nox, but I couldn’t.



Was, Alexandria, she was. She’s dead.

Your boyfriend killed her.

The Demetris are dangerous. I won’t go into all the illegal activities, including prostitution, but know that it’s there. I just want you to know about the man you’re sleeping with. The man she slept with. The man who killed her.



My empty stomach twisted violently.

Stop! Stop! Stop reading!

My heart screamed out, but my eyes continued to roam.



Lennox wouldn’t allow her family to see her body. He had her cremated before any evidence could be found.

Evidence. Her parents have both sworn statements about his abuse. On more than one occasion they witnessed bruises on her wrists. They’ve both testified to that.



I looked to my wrists. There was a faint brown mark from where I’d pulled too hard against the satin. I continued to read.



He was a workaholic. They say she was sad and scared.

Their testimony is available. They have a civil suit pending against him. He bought off the judge for the petition of evidence in a criminal matter, but even the great Lennox Demetri can’t stop all the wheels of justice.

Get out. Leave. Come home or at least move back to your apartment.

Alexandria, I’m scared to death.

I also think he’s behind framing me with Melissa. He could be the reason she’s missing. By getting rid of her, he can remove me from your life.

Lennox is dangerous.

I’m begging you. Your mother is begging you.

Ask him if he’s responsible for Jocelyn’s death… and get out!



Bryce



Why couldn’t he let this go? Why would he think Nox was connected to Melissa? That didn’t make sense.

The letter consisted of two pages. Each handwritten page surrounded the picture. I didn’t want to move the last page of words. I didn’t want to see her again.

I hadn’t realized I was crying until a tear splashed against the paper.

When I looked up, my eyes met Nox’s. His pallor matched his cold, icy eyes, so different than only minutes earlier.

“You shouldn’t have touched it.”

I couldn’t comprehend. “Touched what?”

“That letter, Charli. You’re destroying evidence. Deloris can dust it for fingerprints.”

My head moved slowly back and forth as I realized I was holding Jocelyn’s picture.

How angry would Nox be?

Before I could think, I was up on my feet, my heels sliding across the wooden floor as I backed away from him. “Where’s Deloris?”

“She’s on her way up. What’s the matter? What did that say?”

“I-I…” I rolled my lips between my teeth. “I need to talk to her.”

Nox took a step toward me. His expression morphed from concern to something more intense as I once again took a step back. “What the fuck, Charli? Are you afraid of me?”

“No,” I answered too quickly and too loudly.

When he closed the distance, he snatched the papers from my hand. I didn’t release them quickly enough. The momentary tug of war allowed them to fall. They fluttered to the floor, Jocelyn’s smiling face looking up at us.

Color returned to his face as red covered his cheeks. The vein in his forehead bulged, and the muscles in his neck tensed. “What the fuck is this?”

I blinked, afraid to speak, yet unable to stay silent. I searched his eyes and worked to even my voice. “I think it’s nothing. I think it’s my family trying to scare me.”

“You think?” He lifted her picture from the floor. “Your family broke into our apartment?”

I shook my head. “I doubt it. They probably paid someone.”

Nox couldn’t pull his eyes away from Jocelyn. The edge of the page crumpled as his grasp tightened.

“Please look at me,” I begged.

The muscles in his temples flexed as he clenched and unclenched his jaw.

“Nox!”

Slowly, he looked away from her to me.

“Just tell me that you had nothing to do with her death. Tell me you weren’t responsible, and we will go to the hotel, or stay here. There’s no threat.”

He didn’t speak.

“Please, Nox,” I begged, reaching for his hands, wanting to help him, to take away the pain this letter caused. “Please. I didn’t gather this information. It was thrown at me. It doesn’t even make sense. Just tell me you aren’t responsible for her death, and I’ll ignore everything the letter said.”

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