Excerpt:“Alex…” she began in a shaky voice. “I don’t understand. Is this some kind of a joke? What’s going on?”“Hm…I can see why you must be confused.” He tapped his cheek with a finger. “Quite simply, my darling Lily, it’s time to end our little affair. I’ve already moved out of your flat and I thought since you were in the area, I might as well get this over with. All the unpleasantness, if you know what I mean.”She shook her head in confusion. “But why here? Why call me to Headley Manor?”He laughed and Olivia chuckled in response.“Why? Well, because I happen to live here.”“What do you mean, you live here? Did you buy this property from the Tranmers?”This time Olivia laughed outright and Alex threw her an amused look before turning to Lily. “Oh, I didn’t need to do that. You see, I am a Tranmer.”Lily swayed and her face turned ashen. “But how can that be? You said your name was Caldwell?”“Caldwell is my mother’s maiden name. Let me introduce myself to you again. I am Alexander Stuart Tranmer.”She stiffened. “You’re Daniel’s older brother, the one who lives in America.”He nodded. “That’s right! You got it in one,” he smirked.Her mind was going a mile a minute, trying to understand why Alex was doing this. Then it suddenly hit her.This was about Daniel.All confusion dropped from her eyes. Her voice was resigned. “Of course, payback! Yes! This is about payback, isn’t it?” When he didn’t reply, she continued absently. “And, this? Us…it was just a game to you.”An uncertain frown lit his brow. “I guess you could call it that.”“It was all lies, just lies. Those kisses, the times we made love meant nothing to you at all?”Alex opened his mouth to speak but she stayed him with one hand. “No, please don’t! I get it now, and I don’t blame you.” She took a deep breath to clear her head and continued. “If I’d lost a brother, I might have looked for retribution too, but first, I would have at least tried to get all the damn facts straight.”Her spine turned ridged and chin rose. “You’re a clever man, Alex, but this time you are so wrong, and you don’t even realise how much.” Her voice turned hard. “Your brother was no saint. Your parents spoiled him, so much so that he didn’t understand the meaning of the word ‘no’. Were you aware, for instance, that my sister was only eighteen when she met him? That’s very young, wouldn’t you agree? And yes, she dated Daniel but then so did a lot of other women. She just didn’t want to marry him and then there was the accident. It was very unfortunate but he was driving drunk, after all. Lily saw his eyes widen. “Oh, I see. You didn’t know that, did you?” She smirked. “First it was your parents, and now you. You still believe that Lesley was somehow to blame. That he killed himself over her.”She ought to be furious, screaming and shouting at him. All she felt was cold…and numb. She slowly started to back out of the room. “There’s really nothing I can do to change a mind that’s already made up.” To her intense relief her voice was steady.Alex regarded her pale face with growing discomfort. “Er…Lily, I…”She didn’t respond. Without a backward glance she turned on her heel and vanished out the door.“Lily! Wait!” Alex cried and charged after her. He reached the front door just in time to hear the tyres squeal in protest as her Range Rover did a U-turn and raced away. He watched it disappear down the curve of the driveway with growing apprehension and knew then, with absolute certainty, that he’d just made the biggest mistake of his life. He stood listening to the waning hum of the car until it faded away altogether.And then there was only silence.