Which probably explained why drafts were getting through.

Pushing on the section of the wall, I gasped as it shifted, swinging open into a space behind the wall without so much as a whisper.

“Holy crap,” I murmured, thinking of the hidden doors and pathways the Silvers mentioned when I first moved in, but I hadn’t really believed them. Or at least figured they’d be closed up by this point.

Curiosity got the best of me. So did the mad need for a distraction. The wall shifted far enough that anyone could really squeeze through, just by dipping and turning sideways. I shimmied through, entering a dark and musty-smelling space that was only lit from the light spilling in through my bedroom.

I was almost able to straighten to my full height. Reece would barely be able to stand bent over in here. There was so much dust in the air as I glanced up, I didn’t want to breathe too deeply. I think I really was under the stairs.

Oh my God.

Totally reminded me of that way old movie—The People Under the Stairs. I shivered. Creepy. Slowly moving to the left, I realized there was a flight of stairs inside the cramped space. Placing my hands on either side of the wall, I carefully climbed the steps. They turned out to be steep and narrow, and I couldn’t imagine anyone climbing up and down them without breaking their neck unless they seriously knew the layout.

At the top of the stairs was another hidden door like the one in my closet—same dimensions—and when I pressed on the panel it popped open without a sound.

I was in another closet, but it wasn’t a normal closet by any means. There were no clothes, no hangers, and there were also no doors. There was nothing stopping me from seeing the room. In a dumbfounded trance, I moved forward.

Daylight spilled in through the large bay window and tiny flecks of dust danced in the beams. The room should be warm, but my skin was chilled to the bone as I stepped out of the closet. My eyes squinted behind my glasses.

Oh my God.


My stomach dropped as my gaze crawled over the walls. Not a square inch of paint was exposed. Photos were hung everywhere, some taped, some tacked up.

I couldn’t be seeing this.

Pictures of women I’d never seen before were all over the walls—walking outside of businesses, outside of homes, and other normal, everyday things, but some—oh my God—some were close-ups of wrists and ankles bound, but that . . .

My gaze moved over the left wall and then darted back. I turned to it, clamping a hand over my mouth.

There were pictures of me.

Photos of me inside my apartment—me sleeping on the couch and in my bed. There were photos of me walking through my bedroom, wearing nothing but a towel, and then photos where I was wearing nothing at all. Photos of me naked, from almost every possible conceivable angle known to freaking man. There were so many of them, and I wasn’t alone in some of them.

There were pictures of Reece and me.

Cuddled up on the couch together. Him sitting on my bed and me standing in front of him. Photos of us kissing. And photos . . . photos of us making love.

Horror dug razor-sharp claws in me as I stared at the photos. I couldn’t get enough air in my lungs. In the back of my head, I knew I needed to get out of here. I needed to call the police, but when I took a step back it was like I was walking in quicksand.

Floorboards creaked, the sound clapping through the room like thunder.

Tiny hairs rose all over my body. Ice drenched my veins.

“I really wish you hadn’t seen this.”

Chapter 25

Terror seized me at the sound of his voice, the shock of realizing I was so not alone making me a little dizzy for a moment. The photos on the wall blurred as I spun around.

He stood in the doorway of the room, his blond hair messy, like he’d run his fingers through it several times. Those sharp, dark eyes appeared to miss nothing, and his arms were loose at his sides, but his hands opened and closed, grasping air over and over.

Kip. It was Kip.

He was the one who’d been breaking into my house and it obviously went further than that. The photos of the other women . . .

Kip tilted his head to the side like he could hear what I was thinking. “You shouldn’t have seen this. You wouldn’t understand.”

Fear had my throat seized up and I croaked out, “What is there to understand?”

One shoulder rose as he glanced toward the closet. “Probably should’ve made sure you couldn’t find your way up here, but I honestly didn’t think you’d find it.” He took a step forward and to the side, putting himself between the closet and the door. My muscles locked up. “I mean, you hadn’t discovered it this whole time. Figured you weren’t smart enough.”

Any other day I’d be insulted for not being “smart enough,” however, today I honestly didn’t care what he thought about my level of intelligence. I had to get out of there. My frantic gaze moved to the doorway. I’d been in James and Miriam’s apartment before, and if the layout was anything like theirs, I knew this room led to a hall and then to the door.

“I know what you’re thinking,” he said gently.

I looked at him sharply. “That you’re a freak?”

His eyes narrowed. “And you’re a whore.” He spat the words out. Drawing back, I stared at him as a muscle flickered along his jaw. “You’re just like all the rest of them—just like Shelly.”

“Shelly?” I whispered.

“When it came to her, I was relegated to the friend zone for years, but I loved her. I loved her, Roxy.” His dark eyes flashed. “But she spread her legs for just about any guy who crossed her path. I wasn’t good enough for her, I guess.” He barked out a short, harsh laugh. “Well, I showed her just how good I was.”

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