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Excerpt for The Deceiver's Secret by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

The

Deceiver’s Secret

BY

J.A. JACKSON

Smashwords Edition 
Copyright © by Jerreece A Jackson

The Deceiver’s Secret

Smashwords Edition



This is a work of fiction .

Names, characters, places and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously and any resemblance to actual person, living or dead, business establishments, events or locales is entirely coincidental.



For Rossi , Daddy & Mommy always…

Acknowledgments

To All My Readers & Fans,

I Say Thank You!



Prologue

Eve Lafoy sighed heavily as thunder and lightning cut across the sky. She watched eagerly as a faint radiance of rain danced on the car’s windshield. In a few weeks, the showers would cause the brown, dry hills to turn a deep green.

Sitting quietly, her thoughts preyed upon her. She nibbled her lip as she struggled against the images trying to force their way into her mind. She burned with humiliation remembering that night. It had all started with a dare.

She remembered… The Grand Isles Christmas Ball 1993.

“My God, I hate this dress. Carina Sinclair rolled her eyes. “It’s the last time I’m taking my mother with me to pick out a dress.”

Eve Lafoy lifted a brow. “I told you it wasn’t a good idea. The Grand Isles Christmas Ball is by far the biggest event of the year. And you trusted the dress you were to be seen in to your mother,” Eve spoke, in a huff. “But you wouldn’t listen to your best friend.”

The Grand Isles annual Christmas Ball brought together all the families who had moved from Louisiana or had old family connections with the lustrous old state. Their primary purpose was the debutante ball and to raise money for charity.

Carina adjusted her dress and sighed. “Do you want to go and get a glass of punch with me, Evie?”

“Not now Carina.”

Eve Lafoy had one thing in mind that night and it wasn’t a glass of punch. She came to the party to dance with him.

“Why not?” Carina Sinclair asked.

Eve annoyingly breathed out, “Because we agreed tonight we are both drinking a glass of champagne.”

Carina shrugged. “Look, Evie, I prefer punch,” she wrinkled up her nose. “This champagne taste funny.”

“That’s because it’s not the good stuff your parents buy for their parties.”

Carina whined and took another sip. “Yuck! This stuff tastes terrible. You can have my glass. Why are you drinking this stuff, anyway?”

Eve looked back at her.

“Oh! I almost forgot,” Carina said in a nervous voice. “Tonight’s the night you’re trying to get your courage up and ask Hawke Deville to dance with you, aren’t you?”

Edwina Johnson squealed closing the distance between them. “I heard you. Say that wasn’t the bet. The bet was you had to get him to kiss you, Evie. Here, you’d better drink my glass of champagne. You’ll need it.”

“Don’t call me Evie, Edwina Annie Mae Johnson,” Eve snapped. “You wouldn’t want me running around this debutante ball yelling Annie Mae at the top of my lungs, now would you?”

Edwina blinked rapidly. “No, no I wouldn’t.”

“Say, who invited you into the conversation, eavesdropper?” Carina snapped.

"Say, who are you calling an eavesdropper, Carina?" Edwina snapped.

"You…You big ear heifer!" Carina injected.

Eve wished a big hole would just open and swallow her. Carina and Edwina could argue all night about nothing.

“Oh, don’t worry about her, Edwina, that's Carina code for I wish my ears were as big as yours,” Eve joked, taking Edwina’s champagne. “Besides, Edwina, you can’t even keep the bet straight in her own mind. I only have to dance with him.”

“Whew,” slowly Edwina breathed out, looking past Eve as her eyes were rapidly blinking nervously. “There he is! The man himself. Damn Hawke Deville is man pretty.”

Carina snapped her head around. “Edwina there’s no such word as a man pretty. Hawke Deville is sexy, fine and handsome.”

“Whatever Carina, Dawg you’re like a dog with a bone sometimes,” Edwina replied.

“And you’re like that kid that’s always hanging around your house just, so they can steal something.”

“Stop it you two, before someone gets their feelings hurt,” Eve commanded.

Edwina coughed and cleared her throat. “Don’t look now, I think he’s coming this way.”

All at once Eve swallowed the glass of champagne, arched her brow, straightened her shoulders, and glided over with an exaggerated sway of her hips and met Hawke Deville halfway. She leaned over and whispered in his ear.

Hawke Deville and Eve Lafoy walked to the dance floor.

“Damn, would you look at that?” Edwina Johnson asserted. “They are dancing so close. They only have eyes for each other.”

“Pay up Edwina!”

“What?”

Carina snapped her head around and stared back. “You owe Edwina! Eve and I won the bet. She’s dancing with Hawke. I want our money.”

“Gee whiz don’t get your panties all in a bunch. Follow me. I have to go and get my purse,” Edwina replied.

Carina looked back at Eve and waved to get her attention. She gave Eve a high five wave before strolling off with Edwina.

Funny, Eve thought it was the last thing she remembered about that night. After that, her inhibitions must have been lowered by the effects of the champagne. She remembered flinging herself into Hawke’s arms, and with no regrets telling him that she loved him.

Even now she could feel her body responding just thinking about it.

That night had been so amazing, and she felt warm and cozy when she woke up that morning. She rolled over and felt something warm.

She froze.

“Good morning Eve. So, did I take you to the sexual adventure of your life?”

“What?”

“I was your first, right?”

Eve blinked slowly. The meaning of what he was saying shot through her brain. “Oh my God, I was only supposed to kiss you.”

Then she remembered. Eve stiffened at the shock of intimacy. Her heart started fluttering strangely.

Hawke lowered his head and pressed a hard kiss to her lips. He tasted her slowly and thoroughly. “There, now I’ve only kissed you.”

He was a master kisser.

A knock sounded on Eve’s bedroom door.

“Who is it?”

“Eve it’s me, Carina. Your mother is on her way upstairs right now. You’d better get Hawke out of your bedroom now.”

“Oh my God Carina, what should I do with him?”

Carina shrugged. “Oh, for goodness’ sake just hide him in your closet like all sixteen-year-old teenage girls do.”



Chapter 1

10 Years later, October 2003

Saturday Night –In the hills of Oakland, California

Cars were lined up on both sides of the street of Skyline Boulevard. The neighborhood of stately mansions with majestic views of both Oakland and San Francisco bay skyline had long been the enclave of the elite and wealthy.

The mansion belonged to Xavier Newhouse. He was a self-made local business man and part owner of Newhouse Enterprises, a company that he’d owned with several of his cousins.

Carina Sinclair sighed slowly. “It’s a good thing Xavier said I could park in the driveway. This street is packed full of cars.”

“My God Carina, you drive slower than a turtle walk. We’re late for the party,” her best friend Eve Lafoy snapped.

Carina rolled her eyes. She could never get mad at Eve.

The first time she ever laid eyes on Eve she knew they would be best friends. To her Eve was an angel, a special gift sent from heaven to be Carina’s best friend. “Oh, quit being so bossy Evie.”

Eve sighed heavily reaching into her purse for her compact. “Turn on the light. I want to fix my make-up.”

Carina did as she was told. “You’re lucky I was raised to respect my elders.”

Eve touched up her mascara. “Too bad this elder didn’t teach you how to drive faster. We would have been here a long time ago.”

Carina sighed. “Evie Lafoy it was raining cats and dogs. What did you want me to do? Kill us both on the drive here?”

“Don’t make jokes like that, they aren’t funny Carina Sinclair. And do not call me Evie while we’re at the party,” a scowl marred her expression as she lifted her chin. “Call me Eve. It sounds so much more worldly and mature.”

Carina made grunting noises. “Aw you make me want to start drinking sometimes.”

Eve rolled her eyes. “Don’t you dare; you know you are our designated driver.”

“You mean your designated driver,” Carina blurted out. “Look Eve it took us almost an hour to drive here and I want to enjoy myself too,” she paused. “So, don’t get mad and want to leave. You know who I mean.”

Distracted with her thoughts, Eve stared off into the distance. She looked completely lost.

Thoughtfully Carina’s eyes glittered with concern. “Evie please don’t worry about that lizard Izard Moulard showing up. I don’t think a rat like him will ever show his face again,” she said caringly. “If that old snake ever shows his face I’ll show him what I’ve got waiting for him in my purse.”

Eve shuddered at Izard’s name. She stared back at her best friend and wished she’d shut up. Carina was right Izard was a lizard and a snake. Too bad she hadn’t figured that one out in advance.

It had been two years, but the memory of that night would forever be etched in her mind. That night there had been a party at an old mansion. Eve had done something she’d never done before, gone into an isolated part of the old mansion all alone. It was her realtor instincts that had led her to explore the old place by herself. To her shocked surprise Izard Moulard had somehow followed her into the empty room unaware to her.

The next thing Eve knew she looked up and Izard was watching her with the hooded gaze of a snake. He’d called her a stupid good for nothing whore that deserved what he was about to do. Eve remembered being pushed to the floor screaming. The next thing she remembered was the door bursting wide open and Izard Moulard being beaten and left lying sprawled out on the floor.

Carina laid her hand over her best friend’s hand caringly. “I wish I could make it all better Eve.”

“Don’t worry,” Eve stammered out, letting her thoughts come back to the present. She quickly changed the subject. “Gosh, I wish you would get a pair of contacts Carina. You’re hiding that beautiful face behind a pair of old gold framed glasses,” Eve said softly.

“These are new. Besides, everybody can’t look like you Eve. You were born with smoldering good looks. You’re so lucky your father was handsomely attractive. I wonder which side of his family he got it from. Was it the Mexicans, the African Americans or the Asians?”

“Dad always said it was a combination of his mixed heritage,” Eve said smiling softly. Her deep green eyes were courtesy of her mother’s French and Creole ancestry.

Eve turned her attention to Carina’s face and studied her. She was tall, rail thin, and gorgeous. Her hazel green eyes with flecks of gold running through them could melt a man’s heart. “Well baby girl, speaking of mixed heritage beauty, you didn’t do too badly in that department yourself. That rich pale caramel skin color of yours was on the envy list of every girl we went to school with.”

Carina rolled her eyes. “Yeah right.”

“No really Eve shrugged. “Do you remember that girl in high school, Patricia Whittington? She spent a fortune on tanning booths trying to get your coloring.”

The two friends laughed remembering.

Carina’s glasses gleamed in the car’s light.

“God Carina if you only had contacts,” Eve shook her head. “You’d get a man to marry you in a heartbeat with one of those come hither looks of yours,” she shrugged. “If you had contacts they would just add icing on the cake.”

“I thought you said these glasses were more flattering on me?”

Eve shrugged. “Oh! No what I said was that pair of glasses only looked good on Sara Palin, but they look fantastic on you.”

“That was a compliment, right?”

“My very best!” Eve said. “Come on Carina, let’s get out of the car.”

“Thanks,” Carina’s voice was muffled as she closed the car door behind her. She played with her hair. “You can be nice sometimes. Now stop worrying. I promise I’m going to have a great adventure tonight.”

“Now I’m worrying. I never said I wanted you to have an adventure. I said be nicer to Grant Godeau tonight. I think he really likes you. The guy just needs more encouragement from you,” Eve replied.

Carina smothered a yarn. “Yeah sure I’ll be nice to boring old Grant Godeau. Did you know I’ve been very patient with that man? In just the last two weeks we’ve been on the phone at least six times trying to set up a lunch date and we haven’t decided on a restaurant yet?”

Eve grinned amused. “Oh, and I’m sure you were keen on rearranging your work schedule to lunch. Am I right?”

“Well maybe I did have a couple of meetings that I just couldn’t get out of,” Carina said.

“Apparently you couldn’t,” Eve said, checking her lipstick. “Look Carina, I know you are interested in getting married someday. A guy like Grant is perfect for you. Yes, he’s a couple of years older than you. But the guy has his own wealth, even without the business he has with his cousins. Grant owns several exclusive office parks. Plus, he owns the Godeau building in downtown Oakland California. He has polished manners, impeccable lineage, and he has an Ivy League education. What more could you ask for in a husband?”

“An outgoing personality, for a start,” Carina said feeling like a noose was tightening around her neck. “Besides once Hawke shows up he’ll be the life of the party.”

Carina’s chattering started getting on Eve’s nerves. She stopped abruptly.

“Stay away from Hawke Deville!” Eve commanded.

The moment was awkward.

Carina stood for a moment and stared at her friend, stunned speechless.

“I’m sorry I yelled Carina, what I meant…” All at once she got an inspiration and lied. “He’s hiding something. Most people like Hawke Deville are always hiding something.”

“But Hawke has always been a good friend to us both. Remember you said yourself. I don’t understand it Eve. For the last few months you’ve done nothing but bad mouth Hawke. You said he was a good guy.”

Eve shrugged and kept walking.

“Gosh Evie you so dislike Hawke now. Why?”

Eve sighed softly. She thought for a moment. She didn’t want to upset her friend. “Yes, I did say that Hawke was a good person, but that was a long time ago. I have my reasons for wanting you to stay away from him. I just think that guys like Hawke Deville don’t want but one thing from a woman. And once she gives it up. He doesn’t see her as anything but a whore or a slut.”

They continued walking in silence.

Carina looked up at her friend thoughtfully as she played with her hair.

All at once Eve reached out her hand tenderly and pushed back a loose strand of hair. “God’s sake Carina don’t go messing with your hair. It looks fabulous, as long as you don’t start playing in it.”

Carina swallowed hard. “Evie why do you always treat me like a kid? I only play with my hair when I get bored.”

Eve chuckled softly and glanced at her friend. “I don’t mean any harm pumpkin. I guess it’s’ that elder part of me that makes me want to protect you. For some reason I always feel protective of you. You’re the baby sister I never had.”

Carina smiled back. Eve always did know what to say to calm her. “Okay, big sis, you know I can never stay mad at you for long.”

“Come on let’s go inside. And don’t get bored. Help me find my next client with potential,” she said excitedly. “Oh, and make sure he has a big one.”

“Shhhhh Evie! God, I swear sometimes you say the word client like you’re a prostitute, or something.”

“What? You know I meant a fat bank roll,” Eve smiled softly with an intrigued glint in her eye. “Besides, if I was a call girl, I’d be the highest paid and yummiest call girl around. Then I’d get myself one of those Nicole Anna girl boob jobs,” she laughed softly.


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