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Three Little Words


Christie Ridgway


@Copyright 2012 Christie Ridgway


Chapter One

Dusk was beginning to fall as Jemma Scott’s best friend pulled her close for a hug. “Weddings aren’t the right time for holding back the truth,” the bride said, her gaze sliding toward her new husband and the man to whom he was saying goodbye.

Jemma didn’t look in that direction herself. The image of Trent Maxwell, who had played best man to her maid of honor, had been burned into her brain two years ago, when he’d moved into the condo above hers. Instead, Jemma glanced behind her at the fifteen-bedroom example of American Gothic architecture that had served as the locale for the small destination wedding of her two friends. “Some people would say that weddings aren’t the right time for haunted houses,” she pointed out.

The bride, Vicky, beamed as she slipped into the jacket of her going-away suit. “Unless they met on Halloween like me and my new hubby. Wasn’t the weekend fabulous? Didn’t I pick the most perfect place to get married?”

Jemma glanced behind her again. Now that all the other guests had left, the house was kind of creeping her out. It was isolated on a long gravel driveway that led to a lone country road over an hour from the nearest town. Until now, she’d been so busy with nuptial duties and celebratory hoopla that she’d not really taken time to notice exactly how spooky the place looked with its cadaver-gray clapboard exterior and pointed arched windows surrounded by funereal black trim. A cold fingertip seemed to brush the back of her neck. “Yeah. Perfect. The only thing it’s missing is a sign that says ‘Lizzie Borden lived here.’”

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