Lies, Murder and Mistaken Identity in Justice

 Take a look inside Jade Varden's Justice, a book about lies, mistaken identity and murder...


The red BMW was waiting for me as if it had always been mine. I tried, again, to call Aaron and my parents on their cell phones, but when no one answered I threw the car into gear and left the von Shelton estate.

I saw the car parked in front of the blue house almost as soon as I turned onto Sutton Street. By the time I crookedly parked the BMW behind it and stumbled out, the tears were pouring freely down my face. I stood at the front door sobbing and fumbling with my keys for nearly five minutes before I managed to get the door open, and by that time I couldn’t find the breath to call out.

It wasn’t necessary. “Rain!” I heard the startled whisper as I stood near the door catching my breath. The sound of my own name brought a fresh rush of tears to my eyes.

“Aunt Ronnie.” She had me swept into her embrace a moment later, and I laid my head against her shoulder. I didn’t realize how badly I needed a hug until I felt her familiar arms around me.

“Oh, Rain,” she squeezed  me, and for several minutes we stood there and cried together. Finally she pulled away, wiping tears off her cheeks. “Honey, what are you doing here?”

“Looking for you. And Aaron. And my…and…everybody.”

“Rain,” her brown eyes, so much like my mother’s, were filled with pain as she reached out to brush a stray curl behind my ear. “You can’t be here.”

“But you haven’t been answering my calls! I had to come here.”

“Oh, Rain,” she turned away, bowing her head to hide behind a black curtain of hair. “I can’t take your calls. I can’t talk to you, and neither can Aaron. Not right now.”

“What? But Aunt Ronnie-”

“It’s not me, Rain, it’s the lawyer.” She held up her hands defensively.

“Rain? Rain!”

My breath caught in my throat, and for a moment I couldn’t catch it to speak. “Aaron!”

He appeared at the top of the stairs. Aunt Ronnie stepped before me, blocking my view of him just as he came into sight. “No. Aaron, back upstairs. Do you want to make things worse than they already are? Rain, you’ve got to go.” She put her hands on my shoulders and bodily turned me toward the door. “Aaron, upstairs!”

I’d heard her use that firm tone only once before, when I was six. I’d found the birth control pills in her purse and thought they were candy. Aaron was no longer rushing down the stairs, and I had no choice but to let her physically push me out the front door.

“Aunt Ronnie,”  I turned and seized her hand, my eyes boring into hers. “Just tell me why they did it. Just tell me they aren’t terrible people.” I didn’t even know how important it was to me until that moment, that horrible moment when I saw my entire childhood being pulled away from me on the front porch of that blue house on Sutton Street. If the parents who raised me were capable of committing such a terrible crime…then what did that make me? The desperation in my eyes made Ronnie look away; I saw her swallow several times before any words came out of her throat.

“I can only tell you to ask Violet von Shelton. She knows the answers to your questions. I can’t talk to you. I’m so sorry, Rain.” The door closed to punctuate her statement, and I was left standing alone on what used to be my own front porch. I slipped my key ring out of my purse, the one with my house keys and the keys to my Corvair, and placed it on the welcome mat.

There was nothing left to do but climb into the BMW and go back to the von Shelton mansion. It was the only thing like a home I had left…and apparently, it was the place with all the answers.


Justice is available at Amazon, Smashwords and everywhere books are sold!

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