I was furious when I found out my wife had cheated on me…. but then she was found dead…

Chapter 1:

I stand in the stark light of the police station, a place I never thought I’d see from this side of the bars. My fingers tap an anxious rhythm on the cold metal table, my heart pounding like a prisoner rattling its cage.

«Ms. Corbin,» Detective Langdon says, sliding into the seat across from me, his expression unreadable behind those sharp gray eyes. «You understand why you’re here, correct?»

I nod, clenching my jaw. «Because you think I killed Emily.»

«And her… friend,» he adds, his voice carrying a weight that presses down on the already stifling air.

I lean forward, my voice barely a whisper but fierce with conviction. «I didn’t kill her, Detective. I was furious, yes. Who wouldn’t be? But murdering her? That’s not me.»

He scribbles something in his notebook, not looking up. «Let’s go back to the beginning, shall we? Tell me about last Thursday.»

I close my eyes, summoning the courage to relive that night. «I came home earlier than usual. Wanted to surprise her, maybe try to mend things.» My voice cracks, betraying the pain I still feel. «Instead, I find her in our bed with someone else. It was like being punched in the gut, seeing them together.»

«And what did you do?» His pen hovers over the paper.

«I screamed. I yelled. I threw her lover out with his clothes in his arms. Emily was crying, pleading, but I couldn’t listen. I stormed out.»

«To go where?»

«Just to drive. To think.» I shake my head. «I didn’t go back home that night. I couldn’t.»

Langdon taps his pen against his lips. «But Emily was found dead the next morning. And her lover, injured in the street outside your house.»

I clasp my hands together to stop them from shaking. «I heard. And I know how it looks. But I didn’t go back. I stayed at a motel out on Route 29.»

«No witnesses saw you there, Ms. Corbin.»

«I kept to myself. I was embarrassed, heartbroken. I didn’t want anyone to see me like that.»

He leans back, studying me, trying to piece together the puzzle I present. «If you didn’t kill her, then who did, Ms. Corbin? Who would want Emily dead?»

I wish I had the answer. All I have is a tangle of betrayal and secrets, and a life that’s falling apart at the seams. «I don’t know, Detective. But I’m going to find out. Because someone took everything from me. And I need to know who.»

Detective Langdon closes his notebook, the click of the cover sounding final. «We’ll be in touch, Ms. Corbin. Don’t leave town.»

As I walk out of the station, the weight of suspicion heavy on my shoulders, I know one thing for sure: clearing my name is just the beginning. I need to uncover the truth about Emily’s death. For her. For me. No matter how dark the path might turn.

Chapter 2:

The harsh glow of the diner’s neon sign flickers as I push through the door, seeking a semblance of normalcy amid the chaos. Inside, the familiar jingle of the bell above the door sounds almost comforting.

«Jess, right?» a gruff voice calls out from a booth in the back. I recognize him instantly from the photographs Emily had shown me once. Jake, her coworker from the marketing firm. His eyes are weary, shadowed with the same grief that haunts mine.

I nod, sliding into the booth across from him. «You said you had something important to tell me?»

Jake leans forward, his voice low. «It wasn’t just you, Jess. Emily… she was seeing someone else too. Another guy from work. Ron.»

My heart skips a beat. «Ron? Are you sure?»

He nods, pulling out his phone to show me a string of messages Emily had sent him by mistake. «She meant to send these to Ron. When I confronted her, she panicked, begged me not to tell anyone.»

I scroll through the messages, a cold fury settling in my veins. «Did you tell the police?»

«No,» he admits, looking guilty. «I couldn’t. She was… she was my friend.»

The diner door opens with a chime, and a tall figure strides in. It’s Ron, looking just as stern and composed as when I saw him at company events.

«Jake, Jess,» he greets, his voice steady. «I heard you were looking into… into what happened to Emily.»

«We were just talking about you,» I say, not missing a beat.

Ron’s eyes flicker. «Oh?»

I slide the phone across the table. «You were seeing Emily. Why?»

He hesitates, then sits, taking a deep breath. «It was a mistake. I ended it days before she… before she died.»

«Why didn’t you tell the police?» Jake asks, his suspicion mirroring my own.

Ron rubs his forehead. «Fear, I guess. I didn’t want to be dragged into this mess. But I didn’t hurt her, I swear.»

I study him closely, trying to gauge his sincerity. «If you’re innocent, help us find out who did this.»

He nods, his expression grim. «I’ll do whatever it takes.»

As we discuss our next steps, my phone buzzes. An unknown number. I answer, and a distorted voice sends a shiver down my spine. «Leave it alone, Jess. Or you’re next.»

The line goes dead before I can respond. I glance up, finding Ron and Jake looking at me with concern.

«I’m being threatened now,» I say, my voice steady despite the fear. «This means we’re onto something. Someone’s scared.»

Jake clenches his fists. «We’ll figure this out, Jess. For Emily.»

Ron nods. «We’re in this together.»

As we plan our next move, I realize that this is far from over. Someone out there is desperate to keep the truth buried, and I must uncover it before it’s too late. For Emily. For myself. And for the truth that haunts us all.

Chapter 3:

Rain pelts the windshield as I drive through the stormy night, Ron and Jake huddled in the car with me. The atmosphere is thick with tension, each of us lost in our thoughts about the ominous threat.

“Where are we headed?” Ron asks, peering into the dark.

“To see Marty,” I reply, my grip tightening on the steering wheel. “He’s a private investigator a friend recommended. Maybe he can help us.”

The wipers swish frantically, barely keeping up with the downpour as we pull up to a nondescript office building. The neon sign flickers, ‘M. Winslow, PI.’

Inside, the office smells of old books and stale coffee. Marty Winslow, a stocky man with a keen gaze, welcomes us. “Jess, you said on the phone this was urgent?”

I nod, quickly explaining the situation and the threatening call. Marty listens intently, his brow furrowed. “You’ve got yourself tangled up in something nasty. But let’s see what we can dig up.”

He starts with the phone records, his fingers flying over the keys as he hacks into data I didn’t even know was accessible. “Here,” he says after a moment, pointing at the screen. “The call came from a burner phone, bought last week. Purchased at a convenience store on 5th Street.”

“Can we find out who bought it?” Jake asks, leaning forward.

Marty shakes his head. “Cash transaction, no cameras. Dead end there. But let’s keep looking.”

He shifts to Emily’s phone records, scrolling through her recent calls. “Look at this,” he says, zooming in on an unknown number that appears repeatedly up until the day before her death.

“We need to find out who this number belongs to,” I say.

Marty nods, typing rapidly. After a tense few minutes, his expression changes. “Got it. It’s registered to a corporation—Holloway Industrial. Ever heard of it?”

Ron stiffens. “That’s where Emily’s ex-boyfriend works. The one before me.”

“Interesting,” Marty murmurs. “Maybe we should pay this ex-boyfriend a visit.”

With that, we pile back into the car, heading to Holloway Industrial. The building looms large against the stormy sky as we approach. Security is tight, but we manage to talk our way past the front desk, claiming to be from a company that Holloway does business with.

The receptionist directs us to a hallway. “Mr. Holloway’s office is the last one on the right.”

We exchange looks. Mr. Holloway? Emily’s ex is the CEO?

As we near the office, the door swings open, and a man steps out—tall, imposing, with a shock of black hair. He stops short when he sees us. “Can I help you?”

Ron takes the lead. “We need to talk about Emily.”

His face hardens. “I have nothing to say to you.”

“You will,” I interject, stepping forward. “Because we’re not leaving until you do.”

His eyes flick to me, then to Ron and Jake, calculating. Finally, he sighs, gesturing us into his office. “Fine. But this stays between us.”

As the door closes behind us, I feel a chill despite the warmth of the office. We’re about to uncover a piece of the puzzle I sense will change everything.

Chapter 4:

Inside Mr. Holloway’s plush office, the tension is palpable. Rain drums against the windows, a fitting soundtrack to the confrontation unfolding.

Holloway regards each of us with a wary look before settling into his leather chair. «So, you think I have something to do with Emily’s death?»

«Not think. Know,» Ron asserts, his voice steely. He’s not just Emily’s ex; he’s a link to her past—one she never talked about much.

I step forward, laying out the evidence Marty helped us gather. «Your number was all over Emily’s phone records, even the day before she died. And we know about the threats.»

Holloway sighs, running a hand through his hair. «Yes, I was in contact with Emily, but not for the reasons you think. We were working on something together.»

«Working on what?» Jake interjects, skeptical.

Holloway leans forward, his expression grave. «We were gathering evidence against a corruption ring within my company. Emily stumbled upon it months ago. She was helping me collect proof to take to the authorities.»

«Why didn’t she tell anyone?» I ask, confusion and doubt mingling in my chest.

«Because she didn’t trust the police,» Holloway replies. «And she feared for her safety.»

A silence falls over the room, each of us processing his words. It’s Ron who breaks it. «And the threatening call Jess received?»

«That wasn’t me,» Holloway states firmly. «It seems like whoever is involved got wind of your investigation. You’re getting too close.»

Suddenly, Marty’s voice crackles from my phone speaker, left on for him to listen in. «Jess, get out of there. Now. I’ve got something.»

We don’t hesitate, rushing from Holloway’s office back to the car. Over the phone, Marty directs us to meet him at a safe location, a small café downtown.

Once there, Marty spreads out his findings on a table. «The threatening call came from inside Holloway Industrial, but not from Holloway himself. It was from his assistant, Linda. And guess what? She’s connected to one of the key figures in the corruption ring.»

Ron’s brow furrows. «So, Linda was trying to stop Emily. To keep her quiet.»

«Exactly,» Marty confirms. «And when she realized Emily was too determined, she… took drastic measures.»

The pieces click into place, a horrifying picture of betrayal and corruption. «So, Linda killed Emily to protect the ring,» I murmur, feeling a mix of anger and sorrow.

«But why did she target me with the threat?» I ponder aloud.

«Because you started digging, just like Emily,» Marty explains. «You became a threat too.»

With the mystery unraveling, we hand over the evidence to the authorities, ensuring that this time it goes to the right people, away from the corrupted channels.

Weeks later, as the ring is dismantled and arrests are made, including Linda’s, I visit Emily’s grave, a bouquet of her favorite lilies in hand. «We did it, Em,» I whisper. «Justice, at last.»

The rain starts again as I walk away, feeling a weight lift off my shoulders. Emily’s death wasn’t avenged by her exes’ jealousy or a lover’s scorn, but by exposing a web of corruption she had bravely confronted. In the end, she didn’t just leave a legacy of love and loss but one of courage that brought down a giant. My steps are lighter as I face a sky clearing, promising clearer days ahead.

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