If I Can't Have You

If I Can't Have You by Patti Berg Read Free Book Online

Book: If I Can't Have You by Patti Berg Read Free Book Online
Authors: Patti Berg
shrugged. ‘Then we’re at an impasse.”
    “I’m sure the police will see things differently.”
    “Then, I’ll wait around.”
    He heard the deepness of her sigh. Beautiful—but gutsy. He wondered how long it would be before she came at him again.
    Absently, he turned his attention from the woman to the things around him. Everything sat on the bar just as he remembered it. Glasses. Decanters. Ice bucket. Even a white terry cloth towel embroidered with an elegant gold TM hung from a gold-plated ring. The bar hadn’t changed. The living room hadn’t changed either, except for the way the furniture was arranged. So much was the same; so much was different.
    Why couldn’t he remember what had happened? Why didn’t anything make sense? How could sixty years of his life have gone by without him knowing?
    The woman by the pool had said he’d disappeared sixty years ago. The newspapers in the house said it was 1998. Nothing made sense.
    He’d vanished. That’s what the books had said. No one knew why. No one knew where, but each author had a theory. Each author told a different story about his life before his Hollywood years and during.
    He drained his glass, again studying the woman across the room as he drank. She was cold, shivering. Her arms were clasped over her chest, over that flimsy silk nightie, and she just stood there staring at him as if he were mad. Hell! Maybe he was.
    Or maybe this was some kind of nightmare. Maybe he’d wake up and life would be normal again. That’s what he’d hoped when he’d awakened in bed with Carole. But that was no nightmare. That was death—horrible and brutal.
    Damn! He just wished everything would go away.
    Ignoring the woman, ignoring the blue of her eyes that glared at him, he a gain filled his glass with whiskey.
    He thought about the clippings he’d seen in the books. He’d seen them all before—when they’d first appeared in the papers. Now, though, his Hollywood years had been wrapped up neatly on glossy paper and bound in leather. He’d reread columns by Hedda and Louella, and stared at photos taken at the Brown Derby and some of his other haunts, places where he’d eaten and drunk and danced with friends. Page after page he’d turned until he’d reached the photos taken the night before his “disappearance.” In one, he and Carole Sinclair were locked in a tight embrace next to his Duesenberg following a premiere party at the Trocadero. In another, Carole was blowing a kiss to the photographer as they sped away to their own entertainment.
    Then he’d seen those photos of Carole.
    He remembered the blood so vividly. And the knife.
    He plowed his fingers through his hair and tossed down another swig of whiskey. He’d forgotten so much, why did he have to go on remembering the nightmare?
    A scraping noise from across the room startled him. The woman. He’d nearly forgotten about her.
    Was she a fool? Why hadn’t she run away? Why hadn’t she called for help? Why was she picking up that statue and putting it back on the table, as though straightening the house really mattered right now?
    A sudden pounding on the door made him jerk around. Through the window he saw headlights in the driveway. He heard static and voices—a police radio.
    Muscles tensed in his neck and shoulders. How did they know he was here? She hadn’t spoken to anyone.
    He twisted around to face the woman, but she’d already moved across the room. Her fingers fumbled as she unlatched the chain, turned the lock, and yanked open the door.
    A uniformed officer stepped over the threshold, and Trevor knew his freedom was coming to an end.
    “We received a 9-1-1 call from this address,” the officer said, quickly scanning the room before he turned his attention back to Adriana.
    “Did you make the call?” he asked.
    Adriana nodded as the officer quickly inspected her face, which she knew was streaked with tears. His investigative eyes glanced over her silk nightgown, her bare arms,

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