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“And make sure whatever you tell, is thetruth,” Alicia spoke up for the first time. “We don’t have time for games, and I’m justwaitingon one more reason to kick your ass. Don’t lie.”

May swallowed hard, then nodded, turning to me. “Tommy was going to leave his wife,” she started, setting off a peal of laughter between me and Alicia.

“Youdummy, you really believed that?” I asked, and Alicia shook her head.

“They never,everleave the wife.Ever.”

“You don’t know what you’re talking about,” May insisted. “He was going to leave. He just wanted me to get rid of Amelia, so the affair wouldn’t come out. But I wasn’t going to do that. Not really. He just needed to believe it. He gave me an ultimatum, either get rid of her or he’d get rid ofbothof us. So I told him I would do it. He was going to help me - I just needed his resources… his money. We planned, but then you showed up, and then that guy showed up, and I had to set the bomb off early, and everything has just been all messed up since then. But I was planning on taking his money, taking Amelia, and getting the hell out of here.”

“Uhhh… ladies… there’s a bit of a situation out here,” Wilder spoke up in our ears, and Alicia shook her head like he could see her.

“Not now, Wilder. Whatever it is, handle it.”

I gave my attention back to May. “So why isn’t that what happened?” I asked. “You say you were leaving with your daughter and yet hereyouare. Your daughter is not with you, and you’re here harassing a married man as far as I can see.”

“Because hesaid he was leaving,” May snapped. “I told him, Amelia was gone. He was supposed to put the rest of the money in my account, but he hasn’t yet. He’s going back on his word.”

“Oh my goodness, are you serious?!” Alicia exclaimed, letting out a fake gasp. “Themarriedpolitician you had an affair and love child with, told you a lie?! He went back on his word?! I’msoshocked!”

“Make fun all you want,” May huffed. “But I’mnotlying. Look, if I wanted to – no,plannedto leave my daughter… why would I bother drugging you, Tamra?” She asked. “If I wanted to leave by myself, I could have just slipped out of the bedroom window and been gone. And you wouldn’t have known a thing because you were too busy watching for somebody coming after us. I slipped you the tranquilizers because I knew I had to, in order to get meandAmelia out of there. I know you don’t believe me, but that's the truth.”

“Girl you’re damn right I don't believe you,” I told her, even though… honestly, what she was saying made sense. She wasright. I was so distracted that if May had simply slipped out the window, she could’ve been long gone into the night, and I wouldn’t have known different until it was too late to do anything about it.

“But youstillleft without her,” I reminded her. No matter what herintentionhad been, the facts were the facts.

“Because I didn’t feel like I had a choice. That guy showed up again, and you two were fighting, and Istillhave no real idea who you are, or who he is. I didn’t know if Tommy had sent you, or someone else and I just… I got scared. I know it’s not right, and I know it makes me a shitty mother, but that’s the truth. I was justscared. I never intended to abandon my daughter. Once I had the rest of the money, I was going to hire someone to figure out what had happened with Amelia. But… thanks to you, I guess I don’t have to do that anymore,” she said, smiling at me like I wasn’t one wrong word away from kicking her ass. “I’ll be fine with just the money I took from the apartment. It’s not as much as it was supposed to be, but I’ll make it work. You just tell me where Amelia is, and we’ll go so far away you’ll never have to see us or hear from us again. Which was always my plan in the first place.”

“Hey,” Wilder said again. “Seriously, there’s—”

“Not now,” Alicia and I fussed at the same time this time.

I really didn’t know what to believe.

May hadn’t exactly proven herself very trustworthy, but she wasn’t a particularly good actress either. And what we were hearing from her now didn’t feel rehearsed, or forced. It felt like the raw truth.

Still ugly, and still messy, but… real.

One look at Alicia clued me in that she was having the same internal battle I was.

“I guess it’s a good thing we don’t have to decide right now whether or not we think you’re lying,” Alicia said. “Either way, you’re coming with us. There’s a scared little girl that needs to see her mother, and then? You’re going to tell useverything. Every single detail of this ridiculous, half-baked plan you and Turner came up with, and then whatever stupidity you cooked up by yourself.”

May let out a defeated sigh, but she nodded. “Just get me out of here so I can see my daughter.”

Before we could make any move toward actually doing that, the door to the bathroom burst open.

Armed, black-suited members of the official security team came rushing in, with Tommy Turner’s hysterical wife on their heels.

“Right there,” she shrieked, jabbing a finger in May’s direction, her tear streaked eyes narrowed with anger. “That’sthe woman who killed my husband!”