The Short Drop



"Very well. Do you know the value of a secret? I don't mean some juicy tidbit known by a handful of insiders and gossiped about over drinks, but a real secret that would cause ruin if it were revealed. Do you know its value? Being the only one to know it. Just you and the person who fears it. Such a secret places that person's life in your hands. They will do anything for you to keep it a little longer. Anything."

"You asked why I sent you after the man who took Suzanne's photograph. I thought Terrance Musgrove closed that door long ago; I was mistaken. The photograph meant that there was someone else who knew the secret. If it were ever uncovered, my hold on Benjamin would have been erased. And I had sacrificed far too much to allow it."

"Since you remember what I say with such clarity, I'm sure you recall what I said about secrets. Their power to destroy. You may hold my secret, but it is also Catherine's secret, is it not? You cannot expose me without exposing her. And in exposing her, you'll make her a pariah. A pathetic curiosity. Never to have a normal life."

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