8 The Forbidden Fruit


8: The Forbidden Fruit

Cody got to her hotel room, washed, and crawled under the covers twenty minutes after escaping Gabe’s office.

She drifted off to sleep only to wake when she heard her sister squeal, “Cody, where have you been?”

“Shut the hell up! Trying to sleep. Go away!”

“Not until you tell me where you’ve been.”

“I’m a grown woman, I go where I want.”


“Molls. Sleep.”

“I was just worried, okay. Sorry.” Molly crawled up on the bed beside her. “Can I sleep here?”

“George won’t miss you?”

“No. I already told him I was spending the night with you.”

“What if I didn’t want you to spend the night?”

“Then I’d go back,” Molly said simply, shuffling under the covers.

Cody just hummed understanding as she was about to drift off.

“Don’t tell Georgy, but when I couldn’t find you I went to the office.”

Cody clutched the sheets tight. “By yourself? This time a night?”

“You didn’t answer your phone and I was worried.”

“You should be careful going out by yourself at night. You might have George’s last name but you’re still a Walthour.”

“I know. But listen. I think he had one of his mistresses in the office.”

Cody inwardly groaned. “Good for him.”

“I was trying to see her, but it was dark in the room and she escaped out his back elevator. I wish I had access to that or I would’ve come up the elevator and busted them.”

Shit! “Molls? Aren’t you too old to care?”

“I… I wanted to see her. But he’s always so slippery that he’s never been caught. Yeah, we know he has women, but aren’t you curious to see what kind of women he likes? Or if there is only one?”

Cody sighed. “I told you before, Molly. I’ve seen some of those women. They’re beautiful.” She remembered those days. And she was glad they were long behind Gabe. Or they better be because if Cody catches any of them she was committing murder — premeditated and definitely cold-blooded.

“I know, but I’ve never seen them. Plus, I think he has a special one…mom had said so before she died. She thinks Gabe might throw us all away for her.”

“Okay,” Cody said trying to sound indifferent even as she inwardly screamed.

“Don’t you care?”



“Go to sleep or I’m kicking your ass out.”

Molly laughed snuggling close to Cody. So Tyler had been right, Marissa had been the one to start Molly down the road of suspicion. Cody feared where that road would lead. Then again, Cody had the power to steer her sister straight.


The next morning, Cody was on the phone with Bailey, “Let’s hurry up and get back together so Molly can leave me alone,” Cody said while her sister was in the shower. They ordered room service for breakfast so it would be up any moment.

“What did she do now?”

“She nearly walked in on me and you-know-who.”

“In the office?” Bailey hissed disbelief.

“Yes!” She hissed back.


“Yeah, and you-know-who’s wanting to kill my sister.”

“I’ll talk to Tyler. You keep your head down.”

“I’m trying.” She hung up thinking through her irritation.

When breakfast came, they began to eat around the suite’s small table. Halfway through the meal, Molly tried to pressure Cody again about where she was last night. Until Cody finally got tired.

“Okay, stop.” Cody rubbed her forehead putting down her fork. “What do you want from me, Molls?”

“The truth. I’m your sister, I deserve it.”

Cody sighed, closing her eyes. Yes, she was and yes she did. “But the truth isn’t pretty.”

Molly remained silent for too long and Cody opened her eyes to stare at her sister’s confused face. “I…I’m not the pampered princess you think I am, Cody… I can… I can take anything you tell me.”

Those eyes held a suspicion in them that Cody couldn’t deny seeing, even as that face pleaded for Cody to continue lying. “Okay. The truth. I’m…in love with another man,” Cody said, even while she knew each word would hurt as it hurt Cody now.

“What do you mean? Who are you in love with? Matt right?” Molly asked wide eyed looking fearful, fisting her hands in her lap. 

That terrified knowledge in Molly’s face made Cody keep talking. “No. I’ve been in love with one man since I was sixteen.”

“What? W-who?”

“Our father.” Cody watched Molly’s face fall.

Her big green eyes closed. “You…”

“Don’t get me wrong, I love Bailey, but not like that. I’ve always had a thing for Gabe.”

Molly’s whole body sat so tense she looked unnaturally stiff. “Um…”

“I know it’s wrong. I’m sorry,” Cody said as she swallowed the fear inside of her. It wasn’t the whole truth, but she didn’t want to overload Molly.

“Lies…” Molly whispered, opening her eyes. Anger reflected in those emerald depths. “Lies.”

“No. I am in love with Gabe.”

“Lies.” Molly shook her head absently, staring at the table. “Lies.”

Cody wasn’t sure which part she meant…maybe all of it. “Yes, me and Bailey are a lie. But not my feelings for Gabe.” The horrifying silence Molly gave her had Cody feeling uneasy. “M-Matt thinks it’s probably my longing for a hero figure or something-“

“Matt knows!” Molly snapped head shooting up staring daggers at her. “Why does he get to know everything?” She began to cry. “Why don’t you tell me anything?”

“Are you telling me you’re more upset that I told Matt about it than you are that I’m in love with our father?” Cody frowned, puzzled.

“Yes! No… I…” She shook her head. “Fuck! I knew… I knew…”

“You knew what?” The breath rushed out of Cody.

“He never saw you as… How he looks at… How you look at him. I knew. I hated it. I thought-” Molly looked like she might be sick her face paling, nearly gray. “Oh…He… I told him not to… I warned him…” Her eyes teared up. “Fuck him.” She breathed.

Cody’s heart broke. Gabe knew? He said Molly never confronted him… Wait, Cody, don’t jump to conclusions…maybe it was recently… “When did you tell him?” Cody asked trying to think rationally.

Molly shook her head, “Does it matter? You’re my sister. My only sister….Please… I’ve already lost my mother… I can’t… I can’t lose you, too. I can’t…”

“You won’t lose me unless you want to.”

Molly began to cry. “You were there last night. Weren’t you?”

Cody didn’t answer.

Molly cried harder. “No more lies!” She screamed. “No more! Tell me!”

So Cody did. She told Molly everything she never told her sister. All the abuse of her childhood. Her real mother. The truth of Molly’s kidnapping and what really happened that summer. All the lies between her and Bailey. How Bailey and Tyler loved each other. She told her sister everything, because she loved her and was so tired of the deception.

Molly cried as Cody talked and shed tears of her own.

“Why did you never tell me? Am I so horrible?” Molly covered her face crying an agonizing sound that tore a hole inside Cody.

“I didn’t want you feeling sorry for me…and I didn’t want you seeing the ugly side of my life…I see how wrong it was now, my own insecurities… I…” Cody trailed off, hanging her head in shame. “Your life made mine seem so pathetic…so I…was jealous…I…”

“But I never saw you like that! I never would have…” Molly whispered. “I wanted you to come home with me so many times… I wanted my baby sister to share my room and my clothes and… But his rules…his damn rules…” The silence bleed between them letting the sorrow echo with the sound of sniffling. “I was too late… Fuck…” Molly hunched over in her chair, arms hugging her abdomen.

“If you want, I can be the one to tell George.”

“He knows!” Molly shouted hysterically, body vibrating violently.

Cody wanted to go to her sister, hold her, but wasn’t sure how Molly would react, so she waited. When her sister calmed a bit Cody asked, “How does he know?”

“At…At the wedding…H-He found Tyler and Bailey making out in the coat closet. We laughed it off because we thought…it was a joke or something. Or maybe he just thought his eyes were playing tricks… But things began adding up. All those damn business trips. Those brothers’ obsession with one another. We knew it was unnatural.” Molly whined. “Why didn’t I see it sooner? No… I saw. I pretended. I didn’t want it to be true. My mother warned me… She said he had a new mistress… But you? Why didn’t I stop it sooner? And you’re supposed to be my sister. You’re supposed to tell me things. Me! Not everyone else!” Molly shouted vehemently. “I warned him! This is why I can’t look at that asshole. I knew he’d seduce you… Shit!”

That son of a bitch lied to me! Cody’s heart stabbed with renewed pain at her sister’s anger even as she steamed that Gabe had lied to her. Molly had started acting mean towards Gabe after the wedding…which means she confronted him sometime after the wedding. And just five months ago, he lied to Cody’s face about not knowing why Molly was so angry at him. Every time she tried to bring up the topic, he had distracted her repeatedly, making her think Molly was being irrational… Damn him.

Maybe she shouldn’t be mad at Gabe, because his lie was retribution for all the lies she told Molly. But it fucking hurt — twisted like a damn knife in the chest. She wanted to hurt something, preferably  him. Now, she understood at least a little of the pain she put her sister through.

Molly cried even as no more tears came having been cried out. Eyes puffy and red, she shook her head as if trying to clear it.

Cody waited quietly for Molly’s ultimate decision while wiping her own tears away, trying to focus on her sister instead of the asshole who spawned them both.

“Three years…” Molly whispered. “I knew…but I was already too late.”

When a knock came on the door, Cody rose to answer it.

“No.” Molly looked up at Cody frantic. “It’s George, you can’t-“

Cody came around the table to her sister and got down on her knees to look her sister in the eyes. Molly, still hunched over, didn’t flinch from her in disgust. Instead, a plea reflected in those swollen eyes.

“Do you still love me, Molly?” Cody asked quietly, hopeful.

Molly’s face scrunched in pain. “You’re my fucking baby sister. I can’t not love you.”

“Then if he loves you, nothing I say will matter. Plus, as you said, he knows.”

“Speculation is so not confirmation. He’ll look at you different. Just like I look at you…”

“I know.”

“You can’t,” she whispered so desperately it nearly made Cody hesitate.

“I’m betting his love for you, will outweigh anything.”

“With my fucked up life, I’m not taking that bet.”

“If anything, he’ll try to rescue you from our crazy.”

Molly half chuckled, half whimpered a wounded sound.

“Especially when he sees how much pain you’re in.”


Cody kissed her sister on the cheek. Then she rose and answered the door.

When George saw Molly bent over he rushed in.

“What the hell happened?” George roared getting down on his knees before her.

Cody closed the door. “Let’s talk brother-in-law…”


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