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Confessions: The Paris Mysteries

The City of Lights sets the stage for romance, drama and intrigue in the latest Confessions novel from the world's bestselling mystery writer!

After investigating multiple homicides and her family's decades-old skeletons in the closet, Tandy Angel is finally reunited with her lost love in Paris. But as he grows increasingly distant, Tandy is confronted with disturbing questions about him, as well as what really happened to her long-dead sister. With no way to tell anymore who in her life she can trust, how will Tandy ever get to the bottom of the countless secrets her parents kept from her? James Patterson leads this brilliant teenage detective through Paris on a trail of lies years in the making, with shocking revelations around every corner.

THE BEST OF TIMES. THE WORST OF TIMES.

4

I was flushed and even trembling as James and I crossed the worn Persian carpets in the hotel’s charming, velvet-lined lobby and stepped into a metal cage of an elevator. James slid the gate closed.

When he looked at me, I was sure he knew what I was feeling. We were in uncharted territory, James and I. Maybe he was scared, too.

All my life, my demanding parents had trained me to suppress all emotions, believing they were unnecessary distractions. But to be robbed of this intensity would have robbed me of my humanity. I was made to feel this way, to love James and to be loved by him.

He put an arm around me and pressed the button for 3eme étage. The creaky lift rose and stopped on the third floor with a jolt. As we walked down the hallway toward his room, James whispered, “My father can’t find us now, Tandy.”

We stopped at a door near the end of the hall. James pushed the key into the lock. He wiggled it. It rattled and then, finally, the door opened. I stepped into a room that was shabby but clean, smelling faintly of cigarettes.

There was a narrow bed against the wall to my right, a chair with claw feet beside it, and a tall carved armoire across from the bed that called up images of an earlier time. The one small window looked out onto Boulevard Voltaire, and enough moonlight and streetlight came through it to see by.

James hung his jacket on a hook behind the door and turned to face me. I could hardly look at him. My skin was hot, and my heart was skipping, thudding, banging against my rib cage, acting like a child on a sugar high.

I knew what James would see on my face when he looked at me: that I was his, only for him. He held my face with both hands and kissed me. It was real and tender and full of desire. He loved me. He wanted me. And I wanted him. I had never done this with anyone before, but I wasn’t afraid. It felt completely right.

Fierce heat flashed through my body. He unbuttoned his shirt, and it whispered to the floor. Then he unbuttoned mine.

I’m not the kind of girl to tell others what was deeply, personally ours. But I can say this.

When I woke up in his bed many hours later and reached for him, I was alone.

James was gone.

I doubted my senses. Was I dreaming? I screamed out for him inside the tiny room, and then I looked in the bathroom down the hall. Back in the room, I turned on my phone and waited for it to ring. And I imagined terrible things: that James had been abducted while we slept. That he had been caged. That he was being tortured.

Then I saw the note that must have slipped from the bed and was lying on the floor. The small square of paper shook in my hand as I turned on the light. This was James’s handwriting, for sure.

Dearest Tandy, he wrote, I’ve been lying awake for hours watching you sleep. You are my true angel, and because I love you so much, I have to protect you. My family situation is worse than I’ve told you, worse than you can imagine, and I can’t give my father any more reasons to hurt you or your family.

I know this note won’t be enough for you. I know you will be furious with me. But please believe this, there is no other way.

Something I read yesterday: L’amour fait les plus grandes douceurs et les plus sensibles infortunes de la vie. Love creates the sweetest pleasures and the worst misfortunes in life.

Don’t ever doubt that I love you. And always will.

James

Copyright © 2014 by James Patterson

Read by Lauren Fortgang

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