XIII. The Risky Move

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Monica was not given time to think about what Richard revealed to her. Their father killed Theo and Richard's mother? She was starting to believe that her father was capable of something bad after she heard him talk to Kane, but could he really be capable of something so evil?

"You all think I'm going to do the wrong thing. Richard still believes I will betray all of you, doesn't he?"

Desiree moved her eyes sideways to look at her. They were left to sit in the living room while the Karlsson brothers talked and made plans outside on the deck. "He doesn't trust women," Desiree told her.

"He trusts you."

The woman rolled her eyes. "I'm his brother's wife," and she murmured, "But that doesn't mean he trusts me."

Monica's brow rose.

Desiree laughed. "Did you forget the story I told you that night I came to your room?" She turned to look at Richard and Theo deep in conversation. "The first time we met, Richard tried to kill me." Monica forced her face to remain impassive. She had forgotten almost everything Desiree had told her that night. She was in great denial of many things before. "And then he tried to do it again by choking me."

"And yet you can still stand to be in his presence? Either you're crazy or you're crazier."

"Remember, he thought I killed the woman he loved."

Monica swallowed but didn't say anything. She held her breath, somehow wishing Desiree would say more.

The lady had a bitter smile on her face. "Jamaica. I told you about her. She was my best friend." Yes, Monica remembered now. The woman Desiree found dead inside her hotel room. The woman who had been working with the Liaisons but it never got to her that she was the woman Richard had told her about. "Her death was actually the reason why I am here today," Desiree was saying. "I never knew Jamaica was working with the Liaisons until she was long dead. She had been living two lives. One, I was a part of and the other, the Liaisons. Richard was her lover. I later found out that he would have done anything for her." Desiree let her words sink in as she took a shaky breath and let it out. "Jamaica was a great friend to me and I still love her. But it is a different case for Richard."

Monica wanted to ask why but chose to hold her tongue instead.

Desiree looked at her, her eyes glimmering with tears. "Jamaica had been planning to betray him before she died."

She was hearing another story about Richard. But Monica wasn't sure she wanted to hear it after all. Maybe because she was afraid she'd understand Richard. And it wasn't a good thing. He had just recently told her about his mother. And now Desiree was revealing more.

"Jamaica was working with another group outside the Liaisons. She was planning to take as much as she could before she died. All the while, Richard was thinking they were planning to escape this life together—to live a peaceful life somewhere."

Monica's eyes went to Richard. His expression was hard and it was hard to picture him planning a life with a woman he loved. But she knew he had it in him somewhere.

"He was ready to turn his back on everything he knew for her, you know. He was willing to leave Theo behind. All for Jamaica," Desiree continued. "But she ended up dead. And he thought I killed her. Oh, how he wanted to kill me that night and the days after that. He was so broken that I thought he was a monster." A tear finally fell off Desiree's eye which she quickly brushed away. "And he had to find out Jamaica's real plan. She was going to betray him. She found out that Hong was suspecting her so she planned an escape. She wanted to let Hong believe that Richard was the one who had been doing all the dirty work all along by urging Richard to escape with her. If she didn't end up dead, Richard wouldn't be here right now because there was no question what Hong would have done if Jamaica succeeded."

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