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She turned to him. “When will you have a motive?” Her dark-blue eyes probed him, expecting an answer.

“I don’t know.” He couldn’t lie.

“You’ve figured out nothing.”

“I wouldn’t say that.”

“Am I in danger because I was there at the same time as Nate Copeland?”

Zander held her gaze. “We can’t rule it out yet.”

She swore under her breath. “Now what?”

Madison stepped quietly through the mansion’s front door and slowly closed it, the knob tight in her grip, attempting to be as silent as possible. Her aunts were home from the meeting at the church, and Madison didn’t want to listen to a discussion in which they rehashed every word. Emily’s car wasn’t parked in its usual spot out front—which was fine with Madison. She didn’t believe her sister had seen her at the meeting; Emily had been focused on the FBI agents.

Emily probably wonders why I didn’t attend.

Her sister was always looking over Madison’s shoulder, checking up on her, being a mother hen. It made her feel like a teenager with a chaperone.

The staircase creaked as she lightly jogged up the treads, keeping one ear open for her aunts. She passed the open door of Emily’s room. And then stopped. The coins from her earlier memories reappeared in her mind and drew her inside Emily’s room.

Is this where I saw them?

It couldn’t be. The memory felt very, very old.

She flipped on the light switch and studied her sister’s things. Madison had nosed through Emily’s things in the past simply out of curiosity and because she had the opportunity. She assumed her sister had done the same with Madison’s belongings. The three sisters—and then two—had constantly gone through each other’s things for as long as Madison could remember.

All sisters snooped. Right?

Madison slid on her stomach, the hardwood cold against her bare knees. The space under Tara’s bed was tight, and Madison kept a cheek to the floor to stay low enough without banging her head. Tara’s bed was pushed into the far corner of her room, and Madison had spotted a large box underneath in that corner. She wanted to know what was in it. She pushed shoes and games and smaller boxes out of her way. She’d already rooted through those little boxes and found nothing of interest. But that large box by itself was like a beacon to her nine-year-old brain.

Emily shared a room with Madison, but at seventeen, Tara had her own. Jealousy ran rampant in Madison’s heart. Tara got to do everything. Dates, movies, driving. She got to work in the diner and earn money to buy all the clothes she wanted.

Madison couldn’t wait to be a teenager.

Her fingers reached the cardboard box, its brown surface rough to the touch. It was too tall to open under the bed. She backed up the way she’d come, sliding with one hand awkwardly grasping a corner of the box. It was heavy and kept slipping from her grip. Excitement curled in her chest.

What would it be?

She emerged from under the bed. Dust from the floor left odd pale patterns on her navy T-shirt, and she tasted it on her tongue. Kneeling, she flipped open the box’s flaps. And exhaled in disappointment.

Books. The box was full of books. She dug to the bottom, searching for hidden treasure. Nothing but books. She picked one up, wrinkling her nose at the embracing man and woman on the cover. Flipping it open, she noticed someone had used a pen to underline sentences.

Mom would be furious if Tara had marked in books.

“Madison!” Tara stood in the doorway, fury shining in her eyes.

Dropping the book back in the box, Madison felt her stomach swirl and churn, ready to vomit.

Madison trembled, experiencing the same guilty nausea as she searched Emily’s room. But somehow the nausea was different. Now more regret and disgrace affected it since she was an adult but committing the sins of a child.

This time I know what I’m searching for.

That excuse didn’t settle her stomach the way she’d hoped.

She listened, still hearing only the far-off murmurs of her aunts. Emily’s room was a mirror image of hers. Every room in the mansion had high ceilings, and the bedrooms each had a wide bay window or two. Everyone complained about the stupidly tiny closets, but no one did anything about it. People had owned less clothing when the mansion was built. Remodeling the bedrooms to have the spacious closets that reflected the current day’s excess would cost a fortune that they didn’t have.

Emily’s room had a queen bed, a dresser, two nightstands, the minuscule closet, and a desk. Any of which could hide what Madison was searching for.

Why do I think I’ll find them here?

The sensation of holding the cold metal disks tingled through her nerves. She’d never encountered anything like the coins in her previous searches of Emily’s room. She considered starting under the bed and then chose the closet. Grabbing a footstool, she opened the door. The closet was crammed. She stood on the stool and scanned the shelf above the clothing. A dozen shoeboxes. Most of which, Madison knew, contained shoes. She didn’t have the patience to search each one again. Stepping down, she closed the door and replaced the stool, feeling the urge to get out before Emily came home.

Maybe she was no longer the horrible snoop she’d believed herself to be.

Deciding to leave soon, she slid open a drawer in the closest nightstand and caught her breath.

Not coins. A pocket watch.

She picked it up in awe, the watch familiar to her fingertips. She recognized its weight, its polished surface, and its tiny clasp.

This is Dad’s.

She pressed the stem, and it sprang open. Her gaze halted on his initials inside the little door. The hands showed an incorrect time. Lifting it to her ear, she heard nothing. She closed her eyes and saw him.

He sat on the back porch of their home, grinning as he shouted for her and Emily to beat Tara in the impromptu tug-of-war they’d started with the hose. It was hot. She wore the turquoise bathing suit—the one with the unicorn. Tara and Emily had matching orange suits. Their mother had tried to buy a third one for Madison, but she hated orange and had fallen in love with the unicorn.

The water made the hose cool in her hands. It gushed out near Emily, making the grass squish between their toes. On their father’s loud count, she and Emily yanked with all their strength, giggling with delight as their oldest sister tripped and fell face-first into the grass. In a flash he was beside Tara, lifting her up and exclaiming at the blood gushing from her nose. It dripped down the orange suit, leaving dark, crooked trails. Mesmerized, Madison watched as they grew longer. Her father dug in his pockets and pulled out the watch and a tissue. He dropped the watch in the wet grass and pressed the tissue to Tara’s nose.

Madison looked at the watch in her hand, remembering how shocked she’d been that he had let his precious watch fall to the ground, risking water damage and breakage. To her it had shown how much he loved Tara—all of them—to endanger his most prized possession. A wave of loss and love slammed into her, and she leaned on the nightstand for support, tears blurring her vision.

She’d lost so much.

Breathing deep, she waited for her eyes to clear and pushed the emotions behind a locked door in her brain, where they belonged.

The watch had been a gift from her dad’s grandfather, who’d had the same initials. Her father had allowed the girls to examine it whenever they asked, as long as he stayed close by. It was precious to him, and the sisters regarded it with awe. Below the engraved initials in a fancy script was a phrase in a foreign language. Latin maybe? She remembered her father telling them it meant to care for others.

The case door closed with a snap, and Madison clenched the antique, her mind racing.

It was always in her father’s pocket. He’d kept his keys and spare change in one front pocket and the pocket watch in the other.

After he’d died, the pocket watch was nowhere to be found. Her mother had been furious, convinced his killer had taken the watch, or possibly one of the investigators. When the police had suggested it was lost in the house fire—since all their belongings had burned—her mother had brushed off their theory. Her father had worked late that night and still had on his jeans when he was killed; the watch would have been in his pocket.

How? How did the watch end up here?

Did one of the aunts have it and give it to Emily? Without telling Madison?

Her mother had pointed out that her father’s wallet was still in his pocket. Why would anyone take an old watch and leave the leather wallet with thirty-two dollars?

No one had an answer, and the watch was forgotten, presumably never to be seen again.

How long has Emily had it?

Hearing the front door open and shut, Madison slipped the watch in her pocket and darted out of the bedroom. She silently jogged to her own room, where she listened as Emily came up the stairs. The light switch in Emily’s room clicked, and Madison held her breath, hoping she’d left everything the way Emily’d had it. Madison yanked off her Goonies cap, ran a hand through her hair, and shed her coat. After a long moment, she went back to Emily’s room.

Her sister sat at her desk, leafing through a stack of papers.

“Hey, Em.”

Emily didn’t turn and continued sorting her papers. “Hi, Madison. Did you know there was a meeting at the church tonight about the Fitch murders?”