Home > Sidetracked (Mindf*ck #2)

Sidetracked (Mindf*ck #2)
Author: S.T. Abby

Chapter 1

Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.

—Confucius

LANA

My mother was a Confucius woman when she needed some motivational words. My father was an Einstein man when everything was crashing down on him.

Neither of the dead wise men are helping me out right now. Neither are my parents and all their words of wisdom.

To be fair, they probably never would have condoned me stealing another girl’s identity, taking her inheritance, and using it to get some very disturbing revenge on all the men who scarred me for life.

Five minutes ago, my world was just fine—well, for me it was fine.

Then Hadley showed up at my front door. I never should have opened the door.

“I’m Hadley Grace.”

Her name sounds vaguely familiar, though I’m not sure why.

“Okay.” I shrug, letting her know that name holds no importance.

“Logan Bennett is my boss.”

That’s…surprising. “Shouldn’t you be in DC? Heard the Boogeyman dropped another body.”

Her eyes light up in surprise, and she jerks her phone out from her pocket, cursing when she reads something.

“I’ll make this quick,” she tells me, holding up a file.

She thrusts it at me, and my blood pumps quickly through my veins as I flip it open to see my worst fears starting to come to life.

“Actually, you make this quick,” she says flatly. “Tell me why the hell you stole the identity of a dead girl.”

My mind races through a thousand scenarios, wondering how much she knows. I know without a doubt my inner panic isn’t showing on the surface. I’m the picture of composure. I’ve prepared for this, just not to this extent and with someone close to Logan.

“You always so thoroughly invasive with a friend’s girlfriend, or am I just special?” I ask the girl in front of me, keeping my tone cool and aloof.

“You really want to play this off? Fine. I’ll just call Logan. Tell him some lying bitch has been playing him like a fiddle.”

“Feel free to call him. As for stealing a dead girl’s identity, that’s a false accusation. But by all means, go ahead and make yourself look like a crazy jealous girl.”

I start to shut the door, but she slams her foot in the crack and stops it from shutting.

Got her.

Slowly, I open it back up, arching an eyebrow.

“Ten years ago, Kennedy Carlyle was in a car accident because she was high as a kite. Her wounds were ruled as fatal, but she miraculously survived. Now how’d she manage that?”

She’s purposely referring to Kennedy as a separate person from me. She’s trying to make me slip up.

“Ten years ago, I was a different person. My name was legally changed, and I got sober, made some real life decisions. I was a sixteen-year-old kid back then, angry without a cause. New name, new life, new choices, and a healthier mentality. It was a miracle I survived, and I didn’t take it for granted.”

That’s the shit I’ve been rehearsing, preparing for the day when someone called me out.

She snorts derisively. “You don’t even resemble her. And I’ve run facial recognition software; not even close.”

Okay, so when I was rehearsing all this, never did I plan to face down the FBI.

“Did you happen upon my medical charts while you were invading my privacy and breaking the law to do so?”

“I broke no laws, including hacking your medical files.”

“Yet knew my injuries from the car accident were so fatal that I should have died.” I turn the tables, calling her out on her lies now.

Her eyes narrow to slits, and I tug my shirt up, surprising her.

Her eyes land on the jagged scars. She hasn’t even seen the ones on my back. Logan hasn’t even mentioned them since I froze up about the two long and nasty ones on my torso.

“You’re right. I barely survived.” It works that Kennedy was sliced and diced almost like me. “I have the proof. I can always remove my makeup and show you some of the faint scars on my face. I was lucky there. Ten facial reconstruction surgeries by one hell of a plastic surgeon saved my face from looking as horrendous as these two scars.”

She backs down a little, her lips tensing. The eyes never lie in facial recognition. Unless you have your face so smashed in that it’s ninety percent metal plates in there. But it should match now. Jake fixed all that a long time ago, so she may just be bluffing.

“My face was the worst of the damage. You’ll see that on my medical reports. It was so smashed in that it was practically rebuilt. So yeah, it’s miraculous I survived. Feel free to dig into my plastic surgeon’s file on me. His name is Dr. Calvin Morose. I’m sure you’ll offer your apology to Logan when you’re finished.”

I start to slam the door again, but her foot catches it one more time. This time when I open it back up, I’m glaring daggers at her, trying to seem offended more than sick at my stomach.

“Kennedy Carlyle was barely a D student. Yet suddenly she turns her life around after the accident, finishes school with a nice GPA, and manages to go to college as well? Also, she now profiles serials as well as a FBI trained profiler?”

Ah, so this is all because of that damn Boogeyman. I really want to kill that fucker.

“I pointed out the fact he cleaned like someone in the custodial line of work. That’s hardly profiling. Rich kids spend more time with maids than they do their parents.”

“You told Logan your father was friends with a janitor,” she says, smirking like she’s catching me in another lie.

Just how fucking close are they? Why is she so hell-bent on finding dirt on me?

Do I need to kill her?

No. No. I can’t kill her. Not unless she’s a rapist.

Any chance she’s a rapist?

I look over her slim body, her puny stature, and wonder. After all, looks are deceiving where I’m concerned. Same could be true for her.

I’ve officially lost my damn mind.

“My father was friends with numerous janitors. He called them butlers. Sorry I didn’t want to tell my boyfriend that I was a rich brat from a privileged household who concentrated too much on bad things before I almost died. I had a wakeup call. As for withholding all this from him… Logan and I have only recently started dating. Vomiting my past into his lap is never a good way to start a relationship. And going psycho crazy jealous and invasively tearing into his girlfriend’s past is no way to steal him away. Now kindly fuck off.”

“And if I show this to Logan?” she threatens.

“Then I guess I’ll show him all the plastic surgeon reports and things done. Then I’ll end things with him if he makes me feel as violated as you have.”

I slam the door in her face, ignoring the trembling in my hand as I lean against the door. Fuckity fuck.

My past is solid. Jake has made sure of it. Kennedy Carlyle’s records have all been adjusted to match me. Her scars. Her injuries. Her blood type. Her fucking DNA. He’s covered every single trail there is.

I am Kennedy Carlyle.

Well, actually I’m Lana Myers.

Victoria Evans and Kennedy both died, and Lana was born.

It’s a wonder I don’t have an identity crisis.

As soon as I grab my phone, I turn it back on and dial Jake back.

“What the hell?” he barks. “Why’d you hang up and turn your phone off?!”

“Find out every dark detail on a girl named Hadley Grace.”

“What? Why?”

I take a deep breath, steeling myself for his inevitable rant. “Because she just became a problem.”

Chapter 2

The superior man is aware of righteousness; the inferior man is aware of advantage.

—Confucius

LOGAN

“Where the fuck is Hadley? She should already be leading the forensics investigation by now,” I snap, looking over at Elise.

“I’ve called her several times. She just sent a text saying she’s on her way.”

I run a weary hand through my hair as they finally get the poor woman’s body pulled back inside.

That bastard is here.

He’s taunting me.

He’s calling me out.

He put my name on a dead woman’s body, as if stating it was all my fault he was here.

“I want every surveillance camera footage for a five-block radius. I want to know where he came from and where he went!” I bark at Elise, and she nods before running off to do as ordered.

I’ve never been so pissed. In the seven years I’ve been working for the FBI, I’ve never been called out. I’ve never had a serial killer go so far as to carve a personalized message on the chest of a woman.

My stomach churns with fury as I stalk through the throngs of people. I will find him.

Lana was right. He wants more attention. He’s shifted his fixation onto taunting me with his kills now.

I need to stay away from Lana until this is all over with. Until that bastard is behind bars, she’s not safe. A sexual sadist won’t come after me personally; he’ll go after the woman I care about. Not that I pointed that out to her. Then again, I never thought he’d crave this attention.

She saw this coming before I did. Until now, he’s shown no signs of needing this sort of attention.

I blasted his face and name all over the news, and instead of lying low, he kills a woman near my front door.

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