Home > The Kind Worth Killing(10)

The Kind Worth Killing(10)
Peter Swanson

“I’ll admit that the thought of actually killing my wife is appealing to me. There was a prenup so Miranda doesn’t get half of all I have but she gets a lot, enough to be comfortable for the rest of her life. And there’s no clause about infidelity. I could hire a lawyer, get him to hire a detective, and make a case, but it would be expensive, and in the end I’d waste time and money, and I’d be humiliated.

“If she’d come to me and told me about the affair—even told me that she’d fallen in love with Daggett and wanted to leave me—I’d have allowed a divorce. I would have hated her, but I would have moved on. What I can’t get over . . . what I can’t get past . . . is the way that she and Brad acted that day I saw them fucking in my house. When I’d spoken to them earlier, they were both so calm and convincing. Miranda lied so easily. I don’t know how she learned to be like that. But then I started to think about it, to add up everything I knew about her, the different ways she acts in front of different people, and I realized that this is who she is—a shallow, fake liar. Maybe even a sociopath. I don’t know how I didn’t see this before.”

“I imagine she acted the way she thought you wanted to see her. How did you meet her?”

I told her how we’d met, at a housewarming party of a mutual friend in New Essex on a summer night. I’d spotted her right away. Other guests were wearing summer dresses and button-up shirts but Miranda was in cutoff jeans so short that the white pockets hung below the tattered edges, and a tank top with a Jasper Johns target stenciled on the front. She was holding a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon, and she was talking with Chad Pavone, my college friend who’d bought the house we were there to celebrate. Miranda’s head was thrown back in laughter. I thought two things right away: that she was the sexiest woman I’d ever personally seen, and that Chad Pavone had never uttered a funny line in his life and what was she laughing at? I quickly looked away from them, surveying the party for someone I might know. Truth was, seeing Miranda had felt like being punched in the chest, a sudden realization that women like her existed outside of dirty magazines and Hollywood movies, and that, in all likelihood, she was here with someone else.

I learned her name from Chad’s wife. It was Miranda Hobart. She was house-sitting in New Essex for a year. She was some sort of artist, and she had found a job at the box office of a local summer theater.

“She single?” I asked.

“Believe it or not, she is. You should talk with her.”

“I doubt I’m her type.”

“You won’t know if you don’t ask.”

When we did end up talking, it was Miranda who approached me. The party had gone late, and I was sitting by myself on the sloping lawn at the back of Chad and Sherry’s house. Through a cluster of roofs I could make out the purple sheen of the ocean, lit periodically by the rotating beam from a lighthouse. Miranda sat down next to me. “I hear you’re very rich,” she said, her voice deep and accentless, slightly slurred. “It’s what everyone’s talking about.”

I had recently engineered a buyout between a small company that had developed a picture-uploading program and a major social media site for a sum that even I considered vaguely ridiculous. “I am,” I said.

“Just so you know, I’m not going to sleep with you just because you’re rich.” She was smiling, in a challenging way.

“Good to know,” I said, the words sounding clumsy in my own mouth, the line of roofs in the distance tilting slightly. “But I bet you’d marry me.”

She threw her head back and laughed throatily. It was the way I’d first seen her, laughing at something Chad had said, but up close, the gesture did not seem as fake. I studied her jawline, imagined how it would feel to press my mouth against the softness of her neck. “Sure, I’d marry you,” she said. “Are you asking?”

“Why not,” I said.

“So when should we get married?”

“Next weekend, maybe. I don’t think we should rush into something like this.”

“I agree. It’s a serious commitment.”

“Just out of curiosity,” I said. “I know what I’m bringing to this relationship, but what exactly do you bring? Can you cook?”

“Can’t cook. Can’t sew. I can dust. You sure you want to marry me?”

“I’d be honored.”

We talked some more, and then we kissed, right there on the lawn, awkwardly, our teeth clicking, our chins bumping. She laughed out loud again and I told her the wedding was off.

Hot Novels
  • Grey: Fifty Shades of Grey as Told by Chris
  • Fifty Shades Freed (Fifty Shades #3)
  • Never Too Far (Too Far Trilogy #2)
  • Fifty Shades Darker (Fifty Shades #2)
  • Library of Souls (Miss Peregrine’s Peculi
  • Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades #1)
  • Fallen Too Far (Too Far Trilogy #1)
  • Forever Too Far (Too Far Trilogy #3)
  • Ugly Love
  • Allegiant (Divergent #3)
  • Hold on Tight (Sea Breeze #8)
  • Bared to You (Crossfire #1)
  • The Destiny of Violet & Luke (The Coinc
  • Captivated by You (Crossfire #4)
  • Uprooted