Deception

by Laura Ranger

How far would you go to get to the truth?

Izzy’s had a lifetime of liars in her past. All that changes with Caleb Matthews who’s genuine and sincere. He teaches her not all is black or white. After 25 years of marriage she begins to suspect there’s more to her husband then what she’s known. No matter how she tries, she can’t find anything amiss. Is her paranoia from being deceived in her past sabotaging her future or is there something more she’s missing?


Excerpt

Prologue

Lies come in all forms. The little white lies hurt nothing more than your feelings. The deep, black, engulfing lies that forever change a person’s way of being in the world. Izzy mostly encountered the later.

Isabelle or Izzy, as her family and friends called her, sat listening to the cold wind outside her now cold car, whip itself into a frenzy trying to enter the car. An involuntary shudder ran through her.

She wondered if everyone lied. Did so many people lie because someone had lied to them at one time or another? Were liars born, or were they made out of life’s circumstances? If it weren’t for lies, she wouldn’t be trapped in this vehicle, sitting so long her butt had gone numb at least an hour ago.

Periodically, she turned on the car to engage the seat warmer to thaw a bit before conserving her gas for later. It was growing late. Bored out of her mind, she could feel her eyes grow so heavy she wasn’t certain she hadn’t nodded off for a moment.

She tried paying attention to her surroundings to keep her mind alert so she wouldn’t fall asleep. She watched the traffic lights down the long street, in a seedy part of town, change color in succession to keep traffic flowing. The low hum of the city buses as they wound their way throughout the city, picking people up from one place and depositing them in another, provided reassurance at this late hour. Many buses went through the routes with no passengers. Their lighted interior made them look abandoned and lonely. Izzy wondered where the few riders she saw were going to or coming from at such an hour. 

The hookers were in action on the sidewalks. What a miserable existence. Torn fishnet stockings reaching above stiletto heels that were not for sensible comfort but to appeal to men—a visual come—on. They wore skirts so short she knew they waxed or pubic hair would be seen below their hems. See-through blouses with plunging necklines made Izzy wonder what the point of the fabric was. They might as well just hang out in their bras. As she saw them turning their tricks throughout the night, she wondered if her mark had used any of these women of the night in one of his lies. It was a sort of dance they did as they walked the sidewalk; they wove in and out of traffic approaching this car, but avoiding that one.

The bars in the neighborhood sucked in the sober and spit out the drunks who were no longer capable of walking a straight line.

Neon lights flashed a rainbow of colors up and down the street.

She watched the winos staggering down the sidewalks begging for money to get more booze until they could no longer walk and had to sleep it off on the side of the buildings, too numb to feel the cold anymore.

Stray dogs, no more than skin and bones and riddled with fleas would stop every few feet to scratch. They hunted for something, anything, to eat to get them through just one more day.

While her coffee grew cold, Izzy waited for her scariest liar yet. She knew she would catch this one in a lie. This wasn’t going to be one of those innocent lies that just hurt feelings, either. This was going to be the other kind. The kind that would forever change lives and not for the better. There would be no going back.

Why did people like him always have to ruin everything with lies? What was he doing down here in this squalid part of town, when he should be home in his nice neighborhood appreciating what he had?

Chapter One

Isabelle Rose Greenblat, Izzy to her friends, grew up in an average middle-class family. Her parents had been together for fifteen years. Her mother, Shelly, worked a part-time job for “fun money,” and took care of the family the rest of the time. An energetic blonde, she was always happy and carefree, if not a bit scatterbrained most of the time. She could always make anyone feel better by being in her presence.

Izzy adored her father, Jeffrey, because he made her feel like a princess. Hard working, rugged and good-looking, he owned a construction business that always had plenty of work. He was often gone by the time Izzy reached the breakfast table in the morning and rarely home by the time they ate dinner at night. Jeffrey Greenblat provided a good living for his family, and Izzy couldn’t recall ever needing something that wasn’t just given to her.

The middle of three children, Izzy had two brothers. Her older brother by three years, Michael, was wonderful. He was trustworthy, loving and kind. He always stuck up for and protected her. They were very close.

Then there was Gabriel, her younger brother by two years. The last time there was a relationship this loving, God threw Lucifer out of heaven.

Malicious and vindictive, Gabriel was a liar. Izzy had caught him in many lies, but whenever she tried to tell their mother he was lying, Shelly always brushed her aside and let it go. It infuriated Izzy. At times like that, Gabriel taunted her with smug looks and snide comments. She could never see them being friends. Ever.

Hugo, the Greenblat Great Dane, was as gentle as a kitten and as big as a small horse. Some of the neighbor kids called him Huge-O due to his size. Izzy had always loved dogs because they never lied, were always loyal and faithful.

She thought life was perfect. She soon learned a perfect life was just an illusion. All made up of smoke and mirrors. Reality shattered her happy existence.

The lie that destroyed Izzy’s ten-year-old world came when her parents announced they were ending their relationship, but not by divorce. They had never married.

Her brothers accepted it. She couldn’t. She was devastated that two people she should have been able to trust, had lied to her throughout her life. She had too many questions. What did it mean? How would they be treated? Did this mean she and her brothers were bastards? Her biggest question was if her parents were splitting, would one of them take Gabriel with them? The questions kept coming with no one answering them.

Izzy decided then she would never trust anyone but Michael again.
"Deception" by Laura Ranger

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Genres

Suspense
Thriller
Mainstream

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