On the surface, Bria's Mediterranean life radiates beauty—the kind her late husband, Carlo, dreamed about when he concocted the romantic idea to start a bed and breakfast on the breathtaking Amalfi Coast. With the grand opening of Bella Bella approaching six months after Carlo's tragic death, Bria and her eight-year-old son Marco brace for a bittersweet new beginning by the sea . . .
Before celebratory vino flows on opening day, a stranger appears in an otherwise pristine guest room, lifeless and covered in blood. Bria can't understand why murder would check into Bella Bella. And police are just as puzzled. As suspicions fall on a B&B employee, what's certain is that saving her reputation—and surviving—depend on catching the real killer before it's too late.
Flanked by her feisty best friend, Rosalie, and well-traveled sister, Lorenza, Bria vows to prove to everyone in Positano that no one at Bella Bella was involved with the crime. But as the women expose a scandal that stretches across their dazzling tourist village, it will take everything they've got to name the murderer and avoid becoming the next target of someone’s deadly vendetta . . .
Release date: September 26, 2023
Publisher: Kensington Books
Print pages: 304
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Murder in an Italian Village
“Giorno, Mamma,” Marco cried.
“Morning, mi cucciolo,” Bria said.
Like they did every morning, Marco ran into his mother’s waiting arms, and Bria kissed her son’s cheeks and then the top of his head. She mussed up his thick black hair with her nose, making Marco giggle and then attempt, unsuccessfully, to put it back in place. When she looked into her son’s eyes, a lighter shade of blue than her husband’s, Bria saw the past, present, and future all at once. It was a sight that never failed to take her breath away.
Marco grabbed his bowl of fruit and slices of bread topped with generous portions of Nutella and sat next to Bravo. The two ate noisily, both content in each other’s company like the best friends they were.
Bravo was a Segugio Italiano breed. At two years old, he was still a puppy but was incredibly well trained, with a lean body, long legs, and a smooth tan coat. His most obvious feature was his long ears, which would have looked more appropriate on a bloodhound, and his best trait was that he was loving and protective and Marco’s devoted companion.
When Bravo was finished eating, he rested his chin on Marco’s leg, not as a way to coax some more food out of him, but just to let Marco know he was there. Bria quizzed Marco on a spelling bee he was going to have that day in school, and her heart burst when he whizzed through lampadario, universo, and tabernacolo. His teacher was right; Marco was one of the brightest second graders at St. Cecilia’s.
Bria quickly changed out of her pajamas and put on cropped-length, off-white linen pants, a ruffled sleeveless top in dark green, which perfectly matched her eyes, and slipped into some espadrilles a shade darker than her pants and with a slightly wedged heel, which made walking up the steep Positano streets much less of a chore. She grabbed her oversized tortoiseshell sunglasses from her dresser, and when she saw herself in the mirror, she made the quick decision to let her wavy mass of black hair fall free on her shoulders instead of trying to tame it by pulling it back into a ponytail. It wasn’t vanity; it was practicality. She knew such an exercise could take several minutes, and she needed to get Marco to school before the church bells rang.
When she returned to the main room, she witnessed Marco and Bravo playing tug-of-war with one of Marco’s soccer banners. Once again, she marveled at how closely her son resembled her husband. Black hair, blue eyes, and an expression of fierce determination that could barely conceal the sheer joy that lay underneath. Even though Bria considered her son to be beautiful, she also knew he was loud and annoying.
“Mamma!” Marco yelled. “Bravo’s cheating!”
“Basta con il tiro alla fune!” Bria exclaimed, deliberately making her voice sound even deeper than usual as a way to convey her authority over the household. It didn’t work, and she had to repeat herself twice before they followed her command.
“Sorry, Mamma,” Marco replied. “Bravo started it.”
Bravo barked, the sound rougher than one would expect from a dog so young, and it was clear to Bria that Bravo disagreed with Marco’s statement.
“Remember, you’re going to have to be quiet in the morning when the guests start to arrive,” Bria said.
“I know that, Mamma,” Marco replied, slipping his backpack onto his shoulders. “But you may want to remind Bravo.”
The three of them walked the route they took every morning from Bella Bella to St. Cecilia’s, the scuola primaria Marco attended. With Bravo in the lead, looking back every few steps to make sure Marco was right behind him, and Bria bringing up the rear, they walked down the narrow, zigzagging road and into the hub of the village, comprised mainly of stores and cafés. The village was quieter than usual this morning, and Bria assumed the business owners were taking advantage and sleeping in before the tourist season truly began and they’d have to work almost around the clock to satisfy the crowds.
“Buongiorno, Signore Taglieri!” Marco shouted.
“Buongiorno, Signorino Bartolucci!”
Enrico Taglieri was a local, born and raised in Positano. He was also what her mother would describe as una canaglia, a rapscallion. While her mother’s description was most likely accurate, Bria found Enrico delightful and harmless.
He tipped his sun-faded straw fedora and gave the world a glimpse of his bald head. “Bria, you look so beautiful, you’ll make my flowers wilt in shame. Have mercy on them, per favore!”
“Buongiorno, Enrico,” Bria said. “Grazie.”
Enrico said almost the same thing to Bria every morning; some Italian men couldn’t simply say hello and leave it at that. Even though she knew that he greeted every woman he met in a similar way, she was still flattered by his fawning. As were all the other women Enrico greeted, which was why the potbellied, bald, sixty-three-year-old owner of Flowers by Enrico was known as Romeo to the locals.
“Enrico,” Bria said, “when is the new wine and cheese store going to open?”
Before replying, he shrugged and raised his eyebrows dramatically. “I thought it would have opened already. The crowds are about to descend on our little village.”
“Maybe they’re having problems with permits,” Bria suggested. “Have you met the owner?”
“No, but I saw a man go in there once, after he bought a bouquet of petunias from me,” Enrico said. “I went to introduce myself later in the afternoon, but no one was there.”
“I hope he opens up soon. I want to see if he sells Robiola Piemonte,” Bria said. “I have a recipe for a delicious pesto with nuts and vegetables, but I don’t have a recipe if I can’t get the Robiola.”
“Delizioso,” Enrico said, bringing his fingers to his lips and kissing them. In response Bravo tried to imitate the sound but succeeded only in letting out a bark in a slightly higher pitch than usual. “You like cheese, too, Bravo?”
“Bravo likes everything,” Marco replied.
“Addio, Enrico,” Bria said. “Come on, figlio mio. We don’t want to be late.”
They continued walking and picked up their speed, not breaking their stride even when they passed La Casa Felice, one of Bria’s favorite stores, which sold ceramics and houseware items that were both practical and masterfully crafted. She wanted to pick up a bowl decorated in carciofi, artichokes, because even though he could spell it in English, Marco pronounced it heartichokes, so Bria thought the bowl would be a fun addition to her kitchen. She would have to stop on her way back. They were running late, and it looked like Paloma, the shop owner, was in the middle of cleaning up a mess.
“Buongiorno, Paloma,” Bria cried without stopping.
“Giorno, Bria,” Paloma replied, washing her hands in the outdoor sink in front of the shop. “It’s been a hectic morning already. I dropped a plant, dirt all over, and I have to try and salvage a potted lemon tree.”
Paloma Speranza never failed to impress Bria. She was always cheery, efficient, and handled the pitfalls of being a small business owner with ease. Broken tiles and clumps of dirt littered the floor, but there wasn’t a stain on her yellow peasant skirt or her bare feet. Bria made a mental note to remember to act like Paloma when the inevitable crisis arose after her grand opening.
“If I know you, Paloma, you’ll make it look better than before,” Bria said.
“Grazie,” Paloma replied. “Buona giornata.”
They made it to the gate of St. Cecilia’s just as the church bells started to chime, and they were greeted, as always, by Sister Benedicta. The nun’s name, to Bria, conjured up an image of an old, grim-faced woman who enforced strict rules with a foot-long ruler that was permanently attached to her hand, ready to strike it across the bottom of an unruly child. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Sister Benedicta, who took her name from the Benedictine monks who came to Positano in the first century, was fresh faced and a few years younger than Bria, and she greeted each child with kindness and a smile. In return, she was affectionately called Sister B by her students. The only one who gave the nun a warmer greeting was Bravo.
“Buongiorno, Signorino Bravo,” Sister Benedicta said.
Like he did every weekday morning, Bravo raced over to the nun, sat perfectly still at her side, and waited for her to pet his head with her left hand. When she bent over, she lowered her right hand, and Bravo scooped up the treat with an eager tongue. It was a silly game they played, but one that never failed to amuse Marco.
“Sister B thinks we don’t know that she’s feeding Bravo,” Marco whispered to Bria.
“Let’s keep it our secret,” Bria whispered back.
“Inside, children,” Sister Benedicta said. “Let’s start this glorious day off right.”
Marco gave Bria a quick kiss on the cheek, nuzzled noses with Bravo, and then ran to greet the few other children who were straggling into the school. Bria wondered if she’d ever be one of those mothers who got their child to school early, and then realized that was a foolish thought. She knew such a goal was never going to be achieved.
“Come on, Bravo,” Bria said. “Let’s get on with our glorious day.”
On the way back home, Bravo became preoccupied with trying to cavort with a small family of salamanders who slithered this way and that and who viewed the large tan beast as foe rather than friend, despite Bravo’s gentle curiosity. After Bria got Bravo to give up on establishing any type of relationship with the lizard-like creatures, they continued on their way until they reached Paloma’s store. Bria was not surprised to see that the mess from earlier in the morning had been cleaned up or that the chicest store owner in the village was once again wearing her trademark red pumps. High heels were rarely worn in the village, since getting to most places required a trek down uneven steps or a hike up a hill. Even Paloma, who was the type of woman who considered being fashionable more important than being comfortable, wore her heels only when working at the store. When she had to run errands throughout the village, she donned a pair of espadrilles like Bria was wearing.
“I hope Marco enjoys the new heartichoke bowl,” Paloma said, placing the item into a bag and handing it to Bria. “If only they could stay that age forever.”
“Every little boy has to grow up to be a man and break his mamma’s heart,” Bria replied.
“And the heart of some unsuspecting woman, too,” Paloma added.
“Molto vero,” Bria said, agreeing with her. “Addio.”
Just as Bria turned to leave, she saw Paloma rub her ankle against her other leg. Band-Aids peeked out from the back of her red leather pumps, and Bria stifled a laugh.
What do you know? Bria thought. Even the most fashionable can’t be saved from becoming a fashion victim.
Once home, Bria gave the bowl a quick rinse in the sink and dried it off before laying it on the dining room table, where she had placed some fruit and flowers earlier. She was experimenting with different table settings trying to choose between a floral arrangement in a large vase and a bowl of fruit or both. She was in search of the perfect look, but one that wouldn’t appear to look too perfect. She wanted the décor to create a casual and relaxing atmosphere for her guests. Bravo, who was upstairs, had other ideas.
“Silenzio!” Bria cried.
Bravo ignored her, which was unusual, and kept barking.
Trying a different tactic, Bria cooed, “Come down, amore mio, and I’ll give you a treat.”
Bravo ignored the invitation to eat, which was even more unusual, and continued to bark, sounding more urgent now.
What kind of mess have you gotten yourself into? Bria thought. Ah, beh, only one way to find out.
Bria went upstairs and expected to find Bravo in the middle of a pile of laundry or playing with a chewed-up book. Instead, she found her dog standing in front of one of the closed bedroom doors. When Bravo saw Bria, he gave out one more rough bark and then stopped.
“Why are you making such noise, bambino?” Bria asked.
She looked around for something that might have triggered Bravo’s vocal frenzy but saw nothing. There was some dirt on the floor and down the steps, which Bravo must have tracked in from the outside. Bria had been so focused on finding out why Bravo was barking, she hadn’t seen it on the way up.
“What did you do?” Bria asked.
In response Bravo looked at the bedroom door and started barking again. Whatever had gotten Bravo so excited was inside the bedroom. Could someone be in there? Of course. Why hadn’t she thought of that?
“Giovanni,” Bria called out. “Is that you?”
Giovanni Monteverdi was the local she had hired to be a handyman, sous-chef, and maid for the summer season, but he wasn’t supposed to show up for another hour. Maybe he was trying to make a good impression and had arrived early to fix something in the bedroom that Bria didn’t know needed fixing. There was only one way to find out if she was right.
When she opened the bedroom door, she did find a man inside, but he wasn’t making a repair. He was taking a nap.
“Salve,” Bria said hesitantly.
Normally, Bria had a deep voice, not gruff and smoky, but a rich alto. The voice she heard speak sounded nothing like that and was high-pitched and thin. Perhaps that was why the only response she received was Bravo’s renewed barking.
“Salve, signor,” Bria said. “Scusi, signore. Are you all right?”
She couldn’t see the man’s face. He was turned on his side and facing the wall, but he was fully dressed in a suit and dress shoes. He appeared to be tall and lean, kind of like a human version of Bravo.
“I’m sorry, sir, but you need to get up,” Bria said. “I’m not ready for any guests.”
Bravo barked again, as if willing the man to respond to Bria’s command, but the man ignored them both. If he didn’t respond to Bria’s voice, maybe he’d respond to her touch.
She tugged on the cuff of the man’s pants and then shook his ankle back and forth in an attempt to rouse him from his sleep. He didn’t wake up, but he did roll over. When he did, Bria’s scream was even louder than Bravo’s barking. The man’s shirt was covered in blood, and his face was pale and ghostlike. The man wasn’t sleeping; he was dead.
“Uffa!” Bria cried.
It wasn’t going to be a glorious day in Positano, after all.
Bria had spent hours educating herself on how to deal with all types of potential guests. Rude guests, drunk guests, guests who didn’t pay their bill, guests who broke the rules, every kind of guest she could imagine. Except a dead one. This was one situation she had not imagined she would find herself in, but it was one situation she desperately needed to find a way out of.
The grand opening of Bella Bella was a few weeks away. If word got out that her bed-and-breakfast was doubling as a funeral parlor, she’d have to put up a FOR SALE sign before popping open a bottle of champagne to celebrate this turning point in her life. Who’d want to sleep in a bed that was last occupied by a dead man? But maybe he wasn’t dead? Maybe this was an incredibly unfunny practical joke someone was playing on the newest business owner in the village? Italy was filled with strange customs. Why not the arrival of an unexpected corpse as a “welcome to the neighborhood” gift?
Bria took a few steps forward until she was only inches from the man’s face. He still hadn’t moved, and Bria thought if the man wasn’t a real corpse, he was doing a terrific imitation. Bravo nuzzled against her right leg, but was he acting as her protector or seeking protection? Bria couldn’t be sure.
“Let’s find out if this man is really dead,” Bria said.
Just as Bria reached out to grab the man’s wrist to check for a pulse, gravity intervened. His right arm, which had been resting on his thigh, slipped and dangled off the edge of the bed.
Once again, Bria screamed and Bravo howled; the man remained silent and completely still. There was no further movement, and when Bria touched the man’s wrist with two fingers, no pulse could be found. The stranger in her home was definitely dead.
When Bria heard another noise, this one coming from downstairs, she realized there could be two strangers in her home.
She looked at Bravo and placed her index finger to her lips. Bria could tell that Bravo was fighting the urge to bark, but he was such a well-trained dog that he knew Bria was telling him to be quiet. Obediently, he stayed put. Until Bria started to walk toward the door.
Bravo growled and started to follow her, but Bria turned and raised her right-hand palm up in front of him. It was the universal command for stay, and fighting every primitive instinct in his body, Bravo proved yet again what a well-trained dog he was and stood still. He continued to growl but remained motionless, and he didn’t follow Bria when she left the room.
Standing at the top of the stairs, Bria looked over the railing and didn’t see anyone. There wasn’t a piece of furniture out of place, and everything looked normal. As she descended the staircase, she was grateful she was wearing her espadrilles. Thanks to the soft, cushiony soles of her shoes, she made it to the bottom of the staircase without making a sound.
Slowly she ventured toward the bathroom, and she could see Bravo’s snout peeking out from between the balusters, but this time she didn’t put her finger to her mouth because she didn’t know if she was going to find someone hiding and would need Bravo to bark for help. Once inside the bathroom she held her breath and pulled back the white terry cloth shower curtain, prepared to scream if someone was behind it. The shower was empty.
She entered the main room and paused to survey the area before going into the kitchen and saw that the front door was open. Keeping her eyes on the door, Bria whispered to her dog, “I know I shut the door behind me, Bravo. I always do.”
At the sound of his name, the dog could no longer remain silent and barked his approval.
Bria went to the door and stepped outside but didn’t see anyone on the street. Where were the tourists when you needed them? Bria looked at her watch and saw that it wasn’t even 8:00 a.m. It was still early, and while Positano wasn’t a sleepy village by any means, it was a village where people liked to sleep in when they could.
Bria came back in the house, and after closing the door behind her, ran up the stairs to the bedroom that currently housed a dead man. She felt a flicker of disappointment when she saw that the man looked the same as he had a few moments ago. Was he supposed to get up, wipe the blood off his shirt, and leave? Bria thought. She then chided herself. Don’t be una rimbambita, Bria. Think logically.
She was faced with an emergency, and she needed help. Who was the best person to call when in a precarious situation? Her mother? Her father? Her mother-in-law? No, no, and definitely no with a capital N-O. If Carlo were alive, she’d call him, but he was dead, which she thought, a tad inappropriately, was incredibly unhelpful of him. There was really only one person she could call for help, the same person who had helped her during every crisis she had ever faced since she was a teenager.
“Rosalie!” Bria shouted into her cell phone. “I need you!”
Rosalie Vivaldi had been Bria’s best friend since the eighth grade, when they both had had a crush on the same boy, Alphonso Del Trente. Each girl had done her best to make Alphonso like her more than he liked soccer, but they both had failed. Afterward, they’d realized they liked each other more than they liked Alphonso. Neither had gained a boyfriend, but they had each gained a best friend.
They had stayed best friends throughout college, Bria’s marriage, and through all Rosalie’s many ill-fated love affairs. They hadn’t always lived in the same town—Rosalie having moved to Positano immediately after college, while Bria and Carlo had bounced from Ravello to Rome to Angri—but they had always been in each other’s lives, constantly texting, FaceTiming, and e-mailing. Now they once again shared the same postal code.
Rosalie lived on La Vie en Rosalie, one of two boats she owned, in the marina where she ran her touring business. She was only seven minutes from Bria’s bed-and-breakfast if she rode her bright orange Piaggio MP3 three-wheeled scooter, and she could even make the ride when it rained since the scooter had a removable roof. Ever since Carlo had died and Bria had taken full responsibility for getting the place into shape for house guests, Rosalie had made the trek from the marina many times, at all hours of the day and night. She loved Bria like a sister, but she was growing ever so weary of being the person Bria called to solve every minor problem she faced.
“Amore mio, you’re not having another home decorating dilemma, are you?” Rosalie asked, sitting on a lounge chair on the deck of her boat, having her morning espresso.
“No,” Bria replied. “This is serious.”
“Picking out the right couch was also serious,” Rosalie quipped.
“It’s the focal point of the main room!”
“And the wallpaper in the guest bathroom.”
“Piantala! The pattern needs to be inviting, not overwhelming.”
“Bria, you better not be asking me to look at another paint sample,” Rosalie groused. “I’ve told you a million times already, white is white, no matter what you call it!”
“Rosalie, this isn’t about the house. It’s about a man.”
The second Rosalie heard the word man, her attitude shifted. It shifted again when she realized the person talking about a man was Bria. Rosalie didn’t think men were something Bria was interested in, since she’d been widowed for only six months, and Carlo had been the love of her life. Could Bria already be thinking about moving on with someone new? Rosalie was hardly an expert on romance, having never been married and her longest relationship having lasted less than a year, but she knew Bria better than anyone, and hearing that she wanted to have a serious conversation about a man was surprising.
“What man are you talking about?” Rosalie asked.
“A stranger,” Bria replied.
The conversation had just moved from surprising to shocking.
“This is about a strange man?”
“Uffa! I don’t know if he’s strange, but he’s definitely a stranger.”
“Is he with you now?” Rosalie asked, growing worried by the anxious tone she heard in Bria’s voice. “Bria, are you in trouble? Do you need to use our safeword?”
“The word we chose in high school to use if we were ever in trouble and needed the other’s help but couldn’t just ask for it, because someone might be pointing a gun to our head,” Rosalie explained. “Dio mio! Is a man pointing a gun to your head?”
“No!” Bria replied. “And I don’t remember us ever having a safeword.”
Suddenly Bria forgot about the dead man in her home and remembered the poorly chosen word she and Rosalie had picked as a means to get them badly needed help if ever such a time arose.
“I cannot believe we chose that as our safeword.”
“History class with Signor Lagusso, remember?” Rosalie asked. “He told us all about Mussolini, and we thought he was the worst.”
“Signor Lagusso wasn’t the best teacher we ever had, but I don’t think I’d call him the worst.”
“Not Signor Lagusso. Signor Mussolini!” Rosalie cried. “We thought he was second to Hitler, so we chose his name as our safeword in case we were ever in serious trouble and were looking into the face of evil.”
“I’m not looking at evil, Rosalie, and I don’t have a gun to my head,” Bria said. “But this is serious trouble.”
“Bria, you’re making me nervous. What is going on?”
“Come over here and I’ll show you.”
“Why can’t you just tell me?”
“Because you have to see this with your own eyes,” Bria said.
“I’m on my way.”
When Rosalie burst through Bria’s front door twelve minutes later, it was obvious that she had run the entire way. Her chin-length reddish-brown curly hair had frizzed to about twice its normal size, and she was sweating through her Carla Bruni T-shirt. Rosalie fished out her inhaler from the pocket of her sweatpants and put it in her mouth. She pressed down twice to allow two pumps of asthma medicine to help restore her frantic gasps of air into something resembling normal breathing.
“Rosalie, you know you shouldn’t be running.”
“You told me to hurry,” Rosalie gasped.
“I did, but why didn’t you take the scooter?”
“Mariana’s using it to pick up some supplies in Praiano,” Rosalie explained. “Where’s the trouble?”
“Right, yes, the man.”
“Yes! The reason I rushed here and I’m about to pass out,” Rosalie said. “Where is he?”
Bria looked up to the closed bedroom door behind her. Rosalie followed her gaze and immediately started to march up the stairs.
“Rosalie, wait!” Bria cried.
“No man is going to hurt my friend and get away with it,” Rosalie said, breathing deeply. “You stay downstairs and let me take care of this.”
Two seconds after Rosalie entered the bedroom, she let out a scream that was even louder than Bria’s had been earlier. She came out of the bedroom, clutched the banister, and shoved the inhaler back into her mouth to take another puff.
“There’s a dead man in your bed!” Rosalie cried.
“I know! That’s why I called you for help.”
“You said you needed help with a man, not a dead man. Those are two very different things, amica mia.”
“You have to help me figure out what to do,” Bria said, racing up the stairs. “I open in a few weeks. I can’t have people finding out about this.”
“It’s even worse for him,” Rosalie said, looking through the open door at the dead man. “Ah! Gesù, Maria, e San Giuseppe! Ti prego . . . Did you kill him?”
“Sei fuor di testai!” Bria shouted.
“I haven’t lost my mind, but you have some explaining to do, Bria!” Rosalie cried. “Why is there a dead man in your bed . . . covered in lots and lots of blood?”
“It isn’t lots and lots of blood,” Bria replied. “Why must you always exaggerate?”
“You don’t think that’s a lot of blood?” Rosalie asked, pointing toward the corpse.
“Of course it’s a lot of blood,” Bria admitted. “But not lots and lots. There’s more when Marco has a bloody nose.”
“Well, then, maybe the man died from a bloody nose!” Rosalie cried.
“He didn’t die from a bloody nose, and you know that!” Bria yelled. “Now stop yelling and start helping me!”
Rosalie shook her head in frustration and paced the hallway floor a few times before being able to speak. “Start from the beginning. What happened?”
“I don’t know! I found him that way when I came home after taking Marco to school.”
“How long were you gone? St. Cecilia’s is only a few minutes away.”
“We stopped to talk to Enrico for a bit, and then Sister Benedicta had to give Bravo a treat, like she does every morning,” Bria explained. “And then on the way back, we stopped because a family of salamanders caught Bravo’s eye, and I bought this cute little bowl with artichokes on it from Paloma.”
“How long were you gabbing with Paloma?” Rosalie asked.
“Not too long. She was in the middle of a hundred things, as usual,” Bria replied. “We were gone for thirty, thirty-five minutes at the most.”
“And during that time, some strange man who I’ve never seen before, have you?”
“Comes into your home, goes into one of your bedrooms, collapses on the bed, and dies.”
“Questo è corretto,” Bria said.
Rosalie ventured into the bedroom to look closer at the body and grimaced. “I think the poor guy may have had some help.”
“This man has been murdered, hasn’t he?” Bria said, joining Rosalie in the bedroom.
“Without a doubt,” Rosalie replied. “If he’d fallen accidentally, there’d be blood on his head, or he’d have a bruise somewhere. He wouldn’t be flat on his back.”
“When I first found him, he was on his side.”
“I thought he was a vagrant taking a nap,” Bria explained. “I shook his ankle, and he ro. . .
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