Chapter Forty-Four

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The Garden of Eden Pt. 2

He's been in on it since day one.

The words circle my head. I try to make sense of them, to connect the dots back to the first day we met.

His hand on my suitcase, helping me lift it from the boot. I think about weeks later, the five o'clock shadow on his sharp jaw, eyes watching me in the darkness as he told me not to go to Mara's party. I think of his fingertips grazing my skin, surprisingly gentle – that only last night, his lips were against mine.

I grit my teeth and close my eyes tight, as though doing so will wake me from this nightmare. But nothing can stop me from hearing Eden's words – not even the darkness I beg to come.

'I hope you don't take it too personally. Under normal circumstances, I'm sure Wesley would've spoken to you anyway. You're his type, so I think that's what made it easy for him.'

I can barely see through the tears in my eyes, dread knotting my stomach until it physically hurts. This was easyfor him? How, in any shape or form, was this easy for him?

'Why are you doing this to me?' I ask, hating how weak I sound, but continuing anyway. 'I've done nothing to you. To either of you.'

'Blood runs thick, Haley.' I hear the smirk in her voice. 'Don't blame me, blame Daisy. She's the reason why this has happened to you. If she'd just let me kill her the night of your accident, then I would've been happy to simply move on.'

She looks at me and giggles, the glimmer in her eyes making my body go cold.

'It's funny, really, when you think about it. I tried to kill her that night and failed, but she ended up dying anyway.

'As for Wesley – well, he was easy to convince. He was so heartbroken when your cousin killed his brother, all he wanted was revenge. Boys are like that, you know.' She turns to face the lake, wisps of golden hair blowing in the breeze. 'They don't think with their head.'

My lips set into a grim line as I try to make sense of her words. 'His brother? But Daisy didn't even know Wesley. How could she –'

'– Oh, she knew Wesley alright. Through his brother.' Eden looks over her shoulder, watching my reaction with calculated precision. She raises a brow. 'Made the link yet?'

I can't breathe as I stare at her. My body feels as frozen as the ground beneath me and, as each minute passes, more snow falls. I'm practically buried in it now. Pain sears through my head like a branding iron and I feel sick rising in my stomach, but all I can think is – this can't be true.

Eden has lied to me so many times before, each one larger than the next, that this must be just another one of her webs. Because Wesley can't be Adam's brother. And Daisy couldn't have killed him because –

'Daisy was at home when Adam died,' I say, speaking my thoughts aloud. 'She couldn't have killed Adam because she was with me the night before our accident.'

Eden laughs, looking at me with a tight-lipped smile. 'Wesley didn't need to know all the details. Just enough to get him in on my plan. Other than that, I don't really care what he thinks.'

And, just like that, I know this next fact without a shadow of a doubt. It's as real to me as the snow beneath my feet and fear wraps around my throat in an iron-tight grip. I glare at her, trying to appear stronger than I feel.

'You killed him,' I say as she watches carefully, eyes amused. 'You killed Adam and you're trying to blame it on Daisy.'

She scoffs. 'I'm not trying to blame it on Daisy. If you want, I'll happily admit what I did. Adam had it coming. Can you believe he and that bitch wanted to run off together? He wanted to leave me for some cheaper version and expected me to just lie down and let it happen.'

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