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Plus, it wasn’t worth starting an argument. Jayne would never agree that Ava had her career because she’d worked damned hard.

She pulled up in front of the restaurant. It was a dive bar. Ava wanted to drive away and take her sister with her. This place looked exactly like the type of place Jayne shouldn’t be working. It screamed easy access to drugs and losers.

The type of place that always drew Jayne.

Ava suddenly knew there was no job interview. Her sister had simply needed a ride to a bar. What type of person was she meeting? The excitement and shine in Jayne’s eyes told Ava it was a man. No doubt one she was eager to sleep with. Ava wanted to bang her own head on the steering wheel.

“What the fuck are you doing, Jayne?” she said in a low voice under her sister’s monologue.

Her sister stopped midsentence and turned wide eyes to Ava. “What? Why did you say that?”

“You don’t have a job interview here. You just needed a ride.”

Jayne’s eyes narrowed, and thin lines framed her mouth.

Ava shuddered. She’d triggered the bitch. When would she learn?

“You don’t know what’s going on in my life. How dare you make assumptions,” her sister spat.

“Do you have a job interview?” Ava slowly and loudly stated the words, holding her sister’s gaze.

Please don’t lie to me again.

Jayne stared back; her mouth opened and closed a few times. “No,” she finally said.

Ava closed her eyes. Thank you.

“Why didn’t you just say you needed a ride?”

“Because you wouldn’t come get me!”

Jayne was right. If she’d told Ava she needed to meet a friend, Ava would have told her to find someone else.

“You’re right. But it pisses me off when you lie to me to get what you want. I’m not your bus service. What’s wrong with your car?”

“I don’t know. It just makes clicking sounds when I try to turn it on. David says he’ll look at it.”

Ava didn’t ask who David was. She didn’t care and definitely didn’t want to start a discussion about his role in her sister’s life.

“Could I borrow your car until I get it fixed? You can’t drive two at a time.”


Jayne pouted. “You’re so selfish.”

Ava wanted to pull her hair out. Of course she couldn’t drive two cars at once. The point was that Jayne had no respect for anything. She’d loaned Jayne a vehicle before. It’d come back with spilled coffee on the dash and an empty gas tank. Ava had considered herself lucky. Her sister didn’t associate value with any item. Because she’d never worked for anything.

She saw Ava’s home and car and assumed Ava should share.

“You never answered if I could stay with you for a few days.”

“You know you can’t.”

Jayne turned in her seat, pointing her chest at Ava and giving her sister her best dumbfounded look. “It’s almost Christmas! You won’t even open your home for me at Christmas? Mom would be horrified at how you treat me.”

Their mother had died of ovarian cancer five years ago. Their father had left before they were born.

“Don’t you dare bring mom into this, Jayne.”

“You’ve become an absolute bitch.”

“Get out.” Ava kept her gaze forward. “Don’t call me anymore. You only call when you want something.”

“Well,” Jayne sputtered. “You never call. I at least call you when it’s an emergency.”

Ava looked her sister directly in the eye. “This is your definition of an emergency? I’ve got an eleven-year-old who was snatched from the street. Her parents are sick with worry that their girl will never come home. That is an emergency!”

Jayne threw her door open and leaped out, spilling Ava’s purse in the street. She glared at Ava as if the spill was her fault, but she bent over to shove the items back in the bag. Ava’s jaw dropped as her sister’s low neckline gave her a view down her shirt.

“Did you get a boob job?” Ava squeaked.

Jayne glanced up from shoving Ava’s wallet back in her purse. “That’s none of your business.”

“You did! You can’t afford to get your car fixed or find a new place to live, but you can shove money into your chest?” Ava’s mind spun. Disbelief and horror swept over her simultaneously. Jayne had always moaned about their lack of assets, but Ava had accepted that they would both always be small chested and moved on.

Now they were physically different.

Hair could be dyed. Weight could be gained and lost. But Jayne had gone under the knife to change herself permanently.

“You’re jealous.”

Ava wanted to slap the smirk off Jayne’s face. “Give me my purse and go get yourself sloshed.”

Jayne tossed the purse on the passenger seat and slammed the car door. She spun on a heel and marched into the bar. Ava watched her leave and fought to control her shakes.

It was a twin thing. In the past, they’d fight like wolves and then love each other the next day. It wasn’t unusual for them to be cruel to each other, because it was assumed that their bond couldn’t be broken.

I could never be like her.

Ava had a sickening feeling that their bond was beyond repair.



According to Mason’s neighbor, she’d seen the dog around eight when she’d put some food in its bowl. Mason stared at the bowl of food. It’d been filled the night before and was still full? He squatted down and peered in the kennel. The cushion was free of fur. Yesterday he’d brushed off quite a bit of dog fur from one night’s sleep. The dog hadn’t slept on his porch last night.