The Beginning

The Beginning by Catherine Coulter

Book: The Beginning by Catherine Coulter Read Free Book Online
Authors: Catherine Coulter
And I want to know why you were in that place for six months.”
    She was shaking her head even as he spoke. He knew she regretted spilling it to him now. After all, she didn’t know him, didn’t have a clue if she could trust him or not. She said, “You know, I have another question. Why did Martha answer Amabel’s phone and not Amabel?”
    â€œThat’s a good one, but the answer’s probably as simple as that Martha happened to be standing next to the phone when it rang. Don’t get paranoid, Sally.”
    He carried her duffel bag, his other hand under her arm. She was limping, but it wasn’t bad, not a sprain, as she’d feared. He didn’t want to haul her over to Doc Spiver’s. Only the good Lord knew what that old man might do. Probably want to give her artificial respiration.
    He had a key to the front door of Thelma’s Bed and Breakfast. All the lights were out. They walked to his tower room without waking Thelma or Martha. James knew there was only one other guest, who had come in today, an older woman who’d been nice and smiling and had said that she was here to visit her daughter in the subdivision, but she’d always wanted to stay here, in one of the tower rooms. Thank God, she’d said, that there were two. Which meant she was on the other side of the huge house.
    He switched the bedside lamp on low only after he had closed the venetian blinds. “There. It’s charming, isn’t it? There’s no TV.”
    She wasn’t looking at him or the window. She was moving as fast as a shot toward the door. She knew she didn’t remotely love him anymore. She was afraid. She was in this man’s room, a man she didn’t know, a man who was sympathetic. She hadn’t known sympathy in so long that she’d fallen for it without thought, without question. James Quinlan was quite wrong. She was as nuts as they came.
    â€œSally, what’s wrong?”
    She was tugging on the doorknob, trying to turn it, but the door didn’t open. She realized the key was still in the lock. She felt like a fool.
    He didn’t make any movement of any kind. He didn’t even stretch out his hand to her. He just said in his calm, deep voice, “It’s all right. I know you’re scared. Come now and sit over here. We’ll talk. I won’t hurt you. I’m on your side.”
    A lie, he thought, another damned lie. The chance of his ever being anywhere near her side was just about nil.
    She walked slowly away from the door, stumbled against a small end table, and sat down heavily on the sofa. It was chintz with pale blue and cream flowers.
    She was rubbing her hands together, just like Lady Macbeth, she thought. She raised her face. “I’m sorry.”
    â€œDon’t be dumb. Now, would you like to try to sleep or talk awhile?”
    She’d already told him too much. He was probably reconsidering his comment that she was the sanest person he knew. And he wanted to know why she’d been in that place? No, she couldn’t bear that. Thinking about it was too much. She couldn’t imagine talking about it. If she did, he’d know she was paranoid, delusional.
    â€œI’m not crazy,” she said, staring at him, knowing he was in the shadows and so was she, and neither of them could read the other’s expression.
    â€œWell, I just might be. I still haven’t found out what happened to Harve and Marge Jensen, and you know what? I’m not all that interested anymore. Now, I called a friend at the FBI. No, don’t look like you’re going to dive for the door again. He’s a very good friend, and I just got some information from him.” Lies mixed with truth. It was his business, his lies having to be better than the bad guy’s lies.
    â€œWhat’s his name?”
    â€œDillon Savich. He told me the FBI is looking high and low for you, but no sign as yet. He said they’re

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