Desires of the Dead

Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting Read Free Book Online

Book: Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting Read Free Book Online
Authors: Kimberly Derting
secrets. No matter what.
    But now everything— everything —had changed, and Violet was sometimes surprised by how far he would go to keep her out of harm’s way. She knew that, for him anyway, it meant that he would even betray her secrets if it meant she’d be safer in the end.
    She carried her steaming mug, with the tea bag steeping inside, and set it on the table as she sat down.
    Jay reluctantly sat too. He leaned forward and rested his elbows on his knees, watching her warily. Finally he sighed, “I won’t tell . . . if you make me one promise.”
    She met his eyes, hesitating at the look she saw on his face. The unusual mixture of tenderness and fear were at odds, but it made Violet feel warm and soft inside. He reached out his hand to her, and she took it, letting him pull her toward him. She settled onto his lap as he wrapped his arms around her. He nuzzled her neck, inhaling deeply as if the scent of her was somehow reassuring.
    “Next time . . .” he insisted in a voice quieter than before, “you call me.”
    She nodded, satisfied that he would keep her safe . . . secrets and all.
    It was completely astonishing to her—even after all these months—being in love with her best friend.
    Violet survived the surprisingly brief interrogation by her parents. She and Jay had come up with a lame story about going to Chelsea’s to get the cell phone she’d left in her friend’s car the day before. But as it turned out, she really hadn’t needed the lie. Her parents didn’t seem all that concerned about where she’d been. They were more worried about how she was feeling today, knowing that she’d locked herself in her bedroom the night before.
    Later that evening, once again alone in her room, Violet turned on the TV and scoured the local news for reports that a body had been discovered on the waterfront. When she found nothing on the news, she checked the internet. She was afraid that it would be there, that her darkest fears would finally be confirmed, that someone had been murdered and left behind for her to find.
    And she was equally afraid that there would be no news, that she would remain in this tormented state indefinitely. Either way would be devastating.
    But in the end, she knew nothing more than she had that morning.
    So it was another rough night for Violet, and it took her hours to drift into a sleep that was too light to be restful. But it was a dreamless night and, for that at least, Violet was grateful.
    When morning finally came, Violet wanted to stay in bed and skip school. But somehow the idea of her mother hovering around her all day, asking if everything was okay, was even less appealing than trying to make it through another sleep-deprived day.
    She managed to drag herself out of bed, feeling fatigued and unenthusiastic. The shower helped—a little. But breakfast only made her queasy. She felt off, out of sorts. And it completely sucked, because she knew she would be sleepwalking through this day, and probably the next, and the one after that. Until whoever was inside that container could be found and properly buried.
    Her phone buzzed just before she walked out the door; she had a new text message:
    Check the news. It was from Jay.
    As she stood, Violet grabbed the remote and flipped through the local TV channels. It didn’t take long to find what Jay wanted her to see; it was on all the stations.
    A four-year-old boy had been found on the Seattle waterfront late last night. Inside a cargo container. They flashed a picture of the blond-haired, cherubic-faced little boy.
    Violet recognized the photo; she’d seen his face before, on the news, a story that she’d too easily ignored. An Amber Alert had been issued when he’d first disappeared—several weeks earlier—after he’d gone missing from his home in Utah.
    And even then, she remembered thinking . . . vaguely . . . in the back of her mind, that the boy on the screen reminded her of her little cousin Joshua.
    Violet felt

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