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I knew what I needed to do to really begin the whole process of letting it go, and it would be one of the hardest things I’d ever done.

Opening the closet door, I dropped down on my knees, placing my cell next to me, and started rooting around in the clothes that I had a habit of just tossing on the floor instead of folding neatly like Reece did. I grinned as I picked up a pair of jeans and tossed them aside, thinking that if Reece and I did make that step to live together permanently, I’d have my own personal clothing folder.

Couldn’t beat that.

It took me a few minutes to find the jeans I was looking for. I had to push all the shirts hanging to the sides to clear a path to the back of the closet to locate the pair I’d worn the night Henry had come into Mona’s. Plucking them from the floor, I wondered how in the world they’d gotten all the way to the back of the deep closet.

I sat back on my butt and dug into the pocket, my fingers easily finding the business card. I pulled it out as cool air washed over my hand. Frowning, I glanced up and eyed the closet. Till this day, I could not figure out why the closet was so drafty.

My gaze flicked to the business card. Shaking my head, I couldn’t believe he had one. Really? Like, “Hi, I’m out of prison. Here’s my card!” But it was some kind of car-detailing business card, a business, I thought, if I remembered correctly, his father ran while we were in high school.

I don’t think he really meant to hurt Charlie.

Reece’s words floated through my thoughts, and for the first time in like forever, I thought about his parole hearings, I thought about his trial and everything since that night until now. It killed me to acknowledge it, but never once did Henry make excuses for what he did. Never once did he not show remorse, and not the kind when you get caught doing something bad. I remembered him crying at the trial. Not when the guilty verdict was handed down or at sentencing, but when I took the stand and recounted the events.

Henry had cried.

And back then I had hated him so much for that. I didn’t want to see his tears, couldn’t even understand how he could cry when he was the one who hurt Charlie. But now I knew it was more than that. All this time I also blamed myself and I had cried an ocean’s worth of tears. When I thought of Henry, I always thought of my role in things.

I squeezed my eyes shut for a moment and tried to picture Charlie’s reaction to what I was thinking about doing. Would he be upset? Or would he turn to me and say finally? I let out a shaky sigh. My throat felt thick. My eyes burned when I reopened them.

Then I dialed the number on the card.

My stomach twisted until I thought I’d hurl all over the clothes as the phone rang once, twice, and then five times before voice mail picked up. I didn’t leave a message, because seriously, what would I say? I didn’t even know what I was going to say if he did answer. I started to stand up when I felt the cold air again, this time stronger and steady, as if a hard gust of wind blew out of the closet.

So freaking weird.

Placing the phone on the floor, I scooted forward on my knees, pushing the hanging clothes even further back as I scanned the closet. The air couldn’t be coming from outside, because the closet butted up to where the steps used to go upstairs. Could it be from the main door opening? Stretching, I placed my hand against the wall. The surface was cool, as expected, but the wall didn’t feel . . . solid. Not like the rest of the closet. It almost felt like fake wood, the kind cheap bookshelves were made out of and would fall apart if it got wet. Upon closer inspection, I could actually see a crack, a separation between whatever kind of wood this was and the actual wall. Almost running the length of the back wall, it was about two feet wide and five feet in height.

Which probably explained why drafts were getting through.

Pushing on the section of the wall, I gasped as it shifted, swinging open into a space behind the wall without so much as a whisper.

“Holy crap,” I murmured, thinking of the hidden doors and pathways the Silvers mentioned when I first moved in, but I hadn’t really believed them. Or at least figured they’d be closed up by this point.

Curiosity got the best of me. So did the mad need for a distraction. The wall shifted far enough that anyone could really squeeze through, just by dipping and turning sideways. I shimmied through, entering a dark and musty-smelling space that was only lit from the light spilling in through my bedroom.

I was almost able to straighten to my full height. Reece would barely be able to stand bent over in here. There was so much dust in the air as I glanced up, I didn’t want to breathe too deeply. I think I really was under the stairs.

Oh my God.

Totally reminded me of that way old movie—The People Under the Stairs. I shivered. Creepy. Slowly moving to the left, I realized there was a flight of stairs inside the cramped space. Placing my hands on either side of the wall, I carefully climbed the steps. They turned out to be steep and narrow, and I couldn’t imagine anyone climbing up and down them without breaking their neck unless they seriously knew the layout.

At the top of the stairs was another hidden door like the one in my closet—same dimensions—and when I pressed on the panel it popped open without a sound.

I was in another closet, but it wasn’t a normal closet by any means. There were no clothes, no hangers, and there were also no doors. There was nothing stopping me from seeing the room. In a dumbfounded trance, I moved forward.

Daylight spilled in through the large bay window and tiny flecks of dust danced in the beams. The room should be warm, but my skin was chilled to the bone as I stepped out of the closet. My eyes squinted behind my glasses.

Oh my God.

My stomach dropped as my gaze crawled over the walls. Not a square inch of paint was exposed. Photos were hung everywhere, some taped, some tacked up.

I couldn’t be seeing this.

Pictures of women I’d never seen before were all over the walls—walking outside of businesses, outside of homes, and other normal, everyday things, but some—oh my God—some were close-ups of wrists and ankles bound, but that . . .

My gaze moved over the left wall and then darted back. I turned to it, clamping a hand over my mouth.

There were pictures of me.

Photos of me inside my apartment—me sleeping on the couch and in my bed. There were photos of me walking through my bedroom, wearing nothing but a towel, and then photos where I was wearing nothing at all. Photos of me naked, from almost every possible conceivable angle known to freaking man. There were so many of them, and I wasn’t alone in some of them.