Home > Her Forever Hero (Unexpected Heroes #3)(14)

Her Forever Hero (Unexpected Heroes #3)(14)
Author: Melody Anne

“There’s really no use in going over this again and again, Cam. I didn’t open that nonprofit—Youthspiration or whatever it was called—so I’m not worried about facing the law,” she told him, pulling her legs up to her chest and hugging them, her way of trying to protect herself.

“I’m not going to tiptoe around this anymore, Grace. Even if you weren’t the one to open this thing up, it’s in your name. This is money laundering, dammit—it’s not Monopoly or Chutes and Ladders—and everything is pointing right at you. You need to talk to me so we can figure this out.”

“But I didn’t do it,” she said, doing her weary best to sound like a broken record.

“Well, then, you need to give me a list of people who you think are capable of coming up with something like this and using you as their scapegoat.”

She glared at him for several heartbeats. She didn’t like being pushed into this corner, didn’t like having to answer to something she hadn’t done. But he was right. She hadn’t told him she had done so, but she’d finally gotten around to reading through the copies he’d left with her. It really did look like all roads led back to her. Suddenly her shoulders sagged as she looked at him.

When she took too long, he spoke again. “Did you know that in most jurisdictions, embezzling is punishable by prison time and, of course, fines, including the money taken? And do you remember Bernie Madoff, the stockbroker and investment adviser who got away with about sixty-five billion dollars from various investors? In 2009, he was sentenced to one hundred and fifty years in prison. Sure, that’s an extreme case, but it shows that the courts aren’t smiling on people guilty of fraud, not even the rich ones who can afford lawyers. So you need to tell me, and tell me right now, who you think is behind this. I promise you that this is no joke, Grace.”

Nausea took up permanent residence in her stomach at the thought of prison time. She wouldn’t survive being caged up. No way. No how.

“I have no idea who would do this to me, Cam.”

“Somebody did, and it’s my job to figure out who. The only way I can do that is if you cooperate with me.”

“Why do you even want to help me with this? How do you even know I’m innocent? I could be playing you.”

“Innocent people don’t make comments like that,” he told her with a wry smile.

“Ugh. You think you have it all figured out. Well, you don’t. I have no clue what is going on with this, but I didn’t steal any money. I don’t need to! My grandfather left me a generous trust fund that’s more than enough for me to live off. And my poor excuse of a father left me property. I make a modest income from work, but you know that I don’t have to work at all if I don’t want to.” She was practically yelling now. “There’s just no reason I would ever need to embezzle money!”

“Slow down. Let’s just talk. We’ll figure this out. But you’re going to have to open up to me. You’re going to have to tell me about your life over the past ten years. Well, at least the years that you weren’t here in Sterling,” he said, reaching out and patting her hand.

“I don’t want to talk about my past. I made a lot of mistakes. It’s not something I’m proud of.”

“Grace, I want to help you. You have to tell me everything or I can’t.”

“Really, Cam? Would you like to just open up to me? Do you want to tell me every mistake you’ve made while you were away from this sleepy little Montana town?” she asked. But before he had a chance to answer, she answered for him. “No. No, you wouldn’t.”

“If I needed to tell you something so you could help me, I would. As a matter of fact, you would be one of the first people I’d run to,” he said.

Her eyes snapped to his. Did he really mean that?

“But we aren’t friends,” she said, almost begging him to agree with her.

“I want to be so much more than friends, Grace.”

The heat in his eyes told her that he wasn’t trying to fool her. Another shudder raced through Grace as she fought to keep herself from leaning against him. She’d done her damnedest to convince herself she was over this man, but Grace had a strong feeling that their story wasn’t quite finished yet.

“Please tell me you just leaned into him and gave him a nice, big, sloppy kiss,” Sage said as she zipped down the hospital corridor.

“Sage! I did not kiss him. You know how big a mistake that would be,” Grace told her best friend.

“Because once or twice in the last few months was warning enough, and let’s not forget the night of my wedding, where a little more than kissing happened . . .”

“I cannot believe you just said that!” Grace snapped.

“Now who’s the prude? If a man came into my home while I was sick, then bathed me, tucked me into bed, and fed me, I’d do a hell of a lot more than kissing,” Sage told her as she pushed open a door and rushed inside.

“Why are you always moving as if you’re preparing for a marathon?” Grace grumbled, finding that she was slightly out of breath.

“Because I could be called to the ER at any time, and if I don’t get some caffeine inside me, and very quickly, I might accidentally slip a catheter into the wrong hole.” Sage was already brewing a fresh mocha while speaking. “Do you want one?”

Grace chuckled before replying. “Do you even need to ask?”

“You’re lucky I’m asking. It’s been the day from hell already and I still have half my shift left,” Sage said with a sigh, and grabbed her cup.

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