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Perfect Melody (New Song Series Book 6)

Perfect Melody (New Song Series Book 6)

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Melody had an imperfect past and she doesn't want anybody to know about it. But Sabrina knows her secret and was hell bent on breaking up her family. She wanted Melody's husband, whatever the cost, and had ammunition that could break up her marriage and shatter her perfect image. Melody had a decision to make: her family, or her reputation as a do-gooder. Surprisingly, what was most difficult for her to come to grips with was what to do about Sabrina!
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Chapter One

Melody straightened her spine and viewed herself in the mirror. She looked like a cross between a warrior princess and a harem belly dancer. Dramatic makeup highlighted her chestnut brown eyes; what she thought were short eyelashes were now long and lush after she applied mascara. Her skin was smooth and unblemished, thanks to the wonders of the right foundation. Her full lips were practically sparkling with a tan lipstick called Fairy Dust.
Her clothes were also perfectly chosen to give the impression of a femme fatale on the prowl. Her red dress was accentuated with sparkly dust; its sleeves flared. The dress bared her smooth midsection, which didn't look too bad after the twins. Her matching red stilettos, which she had long kicked off, were in the corner of the room. She contemplated going for them but felt it was too much trouble.
Instead, she positioned the camera toward the bed, which was littered in red roses, posed in the center of the shot, and tried to look seductive. She twisted and preened as she pressed the timer on the camera, over and over. As the flash went off, she dared various positions and then finally she got tired. That would have to do.
She hung off the edge of the bed, not wanting her foundation to mess up the ivory sheets. One by one the tears gathered, especially when she heard the clock in the living room chime just once. It was one in the morning—an unholy time to be awake and alone on your anniversary and taking pointless pictures to memorialize it.
She had put on the dress and makeup six hours ago and felt like a princess. She had straightened her naturally curly hair so it would flow to her waist and had even put on a red diamond-studded tiara. She had a fantasy that she would be the harem girl and Logan would be king. They sometimes role-played to spice up their sex life, and weeks ago at breakfast, Logan had suggested that he had an Eastern fantasy and winked at her.
She had liked the idea, and when she liked something, she usually went all out with it. She had gone so far as to have the outfits made and had fixed the interior of the room like a tent; sheer jewel-like material draped the king-sized bed, approximating what she imagined an exotic Arabian tent would look like. She had spent most of the day preparing the room. She had even sent the children to Alice and Carson, relieved that they were not underfoot while she worked steadily.
When she viewed herself in the mirror with the decorative backdrop, after her exhaustive day of renovating, she had liked what she was seeing. She had captured the fantasy.
Today she didn't look like Zack and Lauren’s mother, or president of the PTA, or Sis Melody, head of the church’s welfare department, nor did she look like the manager of the New Song Band. She had felt dominant, passionate, and alluring and she had looked it. Her background Arabic music had even complemented the room. She was in full seductive mood; even her perfume wafting up to her nose was a turn-on. Her stilettos made her feel tall and in charge.
But now, slumped on the bed, she felt the vestiges of depression creeping upon her. For the past few months she had tried to stop the depression, but since her initial happiness at Logan's promotion, she had realized that she had nothing much to celebrate. They had more money than ever, and it was Logan’s dream come true to make senior partner, but in just four short months she was starting to realize the huge toll his promotion was having on all aspects of his life.
He had run out of their Christmas celebrations because of some new finding on his case and New Year celebrations were a nonstarter with him on the phone with other managing partners discussing business. These days he hardly had time for band practice; sometimes he would even forget that it was Wednesday. And now the biggest blunder of them all, the ultimate insult to injury: Logan forgot one of their key anniversaries, the one that he had insisted that they celebrate or it would be a clear sign that their romance was dying.
They had three anniversaries as opposed to the one that normal couples had. They celebrated the day they met, which was pretty dramatic; he had saved her from drowning at the beach, ten years ago today.
Their next yearly celebration was the day they fell in love, which took place on March 1, and their third anniversary was the day they married, which was in June.
It was cute and sappy, and their friends thought it ridiculous, but Logan had insisted that he always wanted to remember the day that he saved her. To commemorate it they had to have a yearly anniversary, where they had no kids around, no friends around—just them and whichever fantasy they had managed to envision for the day. Through the years they had come up with some zingers.
It would be surprising to many persons, even his closest friends, that Logan, universally known as serious and firm and self-possessed, could be romantic and generous and given to over-the-top gestures.
He hadn't even called today. She had until now thought that he would have come home and surprised her earlier in the evening; some years he pretended to forget and then had the most wonderful surprises after his 'forgetfulness', but these days she could sense that Logan was not all here and it bothered her.
She refused to call him; he would answer the phone and sound distant and possibly snap at her as he did yesterday, and she didn't know if she could take an abrupt stilted conversation right now. She felt like an idiot for preparing for this night so thoroughly. She sniffed and grabbed a wad of tissues from the drawer at the side of the bed.


Logan glanced at the time and raked his hand through his hair. Where had the time gone? He had not even dented the trial brief that he had to present tomorrow in court. He was covered in paperwork, trying to acquaint himself with a case that he had inherited from Thaddeus Masters the third, founding partner of Masters, Gilrich and Edison.
He had been offered the incredible position of managing partner, and he had grabbed it with both arms.
Managing partners got a higher percentage of the profits; they chose cases, voted on important company decisions and in general had more free time. What he was doing now was grunt work, and not even work in his area. Thaddeus Masters had personally asked him, with the suspicion of tears in his eyes, to deal with this case for him.
That alone had intrigued Logan. Thaddeus was as tough as nails and as shrewd as an old fox, but this case involved his illegitimate daughter, a spa employee who had accidentally killed her client in a bizarre set of circumstances that he, as her reluctant lawyer, was still trying to figure out.
Logan should have said no to taking the case. He was not acquainted with the ins and outs of criminal law. He was a Family Lawyer and was more comfortable in family court. Give him a regular old divorce case any day, or a child support or spousal support situation and he would feel at home, but this was a pain. Thaddeus owed him big time because he knew he could not help out his secret daughter without being exposed. Thaddeus had to confide in him.
Logan grabbed the stack of papers in front of him that had been prepared by his legal secretary, Sabrina, and Thaddeus' own paralegal, Kendra, who was assigned to help him with this case.
"Where are the Costner files?" Logan searched through the tall stack of papers on his desk. "I can't find them."
"They are right here, Mr. Moore." Sabrina placed them on his desk and said sleepily, "You look like you need a break."
"I do." Logan looked at the clock and said crisply, "But if I make it through the night, do this brief, I am going to run home get a shave and shower and head to court. Tomorrow is my anniversary, so after court, I am taking the day off."
Sabrina lost her sleepy look instantly when he spoke of his anniversary. She had been working with him for six months now, and she had silently gathered data on him and his wife Melody. Some of it was a part of her job; the rest was just a hobby.
"You know, I thought your anniversary was today. You have three of them on your calendar. Today, or should I say yesterday since it’s after one in the morning, was one of them."
Logan looked up at her. Even in his tired state and with slightly bloodshot eyes he was handsome. Sabrina prepared herself for the familiar thrill of staring at him and was not disappointed. She had grown quite adept at hiding her complete adoration for him but in situations like this when they were working late, his tie all askew, his eyes looking sleepy, she had the insane urge to declare her feelings for him and beg him to love her back.
He groaned and slapped his hand on his head. "Melody is going to kill me. You are looking at a dead man."
Sabrina shook her head slightly and thought, No, she wouldn't kill you. No woman in her right mind would think of killing a fine specimen such as you.
Logan was whipcord lean, but not very thin; he had some muscles going on. She could see that even through his suits. He had a chiseled facial structure, complemented by thick, flaring dark brows. When he was thinking he tended to raise one of them without knowing it. He had proud cheekbones, an assertive jaw-line, a straight as an arrow nose and red slightly full lips. He had a warm bronze skin tone and always looked spectacular in red shirts, like now.
Logan picked up the phone; he knew he would wake up Melody, but he didn't care right now. He knew he was in trouble, and he knew Melody well enough to know that she wouldn't scream and air her feelings. If she felt down about something, she would mask her anger and even smile at him tomorrow but she would find other ways to make her displeasure known, and it was those other ways that he was afraid of. He sometimes wished that Melody was the type of wife who would scream at him and act like a shrew; at least then he would know what was going on in her head.
He had learned a long time ago that he wasn't going to have a turbulent marriage with Melody. She was deathly afraid of confrontation. She would go the extra mile not to ruffle feathers or show when she was hurt.
The phone rang twice, and Melody answered flatly. "Hello."
"Mel, I thought our anniversary was tomorrow, I mean today,” Logan said quickly. "I just took a breather and realized that my timeline is warped. Will you forgive me?"
He heard a sigh and then a small, "Sure Logan. It's no problem."
He found himself feeling worked up over her response. He felt like shouting at her, I know it's not okay; you know it's not okay. Why don't you just say it? Get it out of the way.
He settled for a curt, "I'll see you later. I have to get this brief I am working on done and then I'll pop in to shower and shave. We’ll talk after court, okay?"
"Okay," she said almost cheerfully.
That got on his nerves. What was she so cheerful about? He knew she wanted to strangle him. Knowing Melody, she didn't do things in half measures; she must have planned something for the anniversary.
When she hung up, he ran his hands through his hair and shook his head. He was not going to let Melody's contrary behavior ruin his concentration, not tonight. Through the years whenever they had disagreements, or he did something wrong because God knew she was perfect almost to a fault, he would spend hours trying to decipher what she was thinking. He must be the only husband in the entire world who imagined what his wife would say in a quarrel because they never had one.
He couldn't afford to think about that now. He shook his head and looked down at his desk and the papers that were sprawled out there.
It was only when Sabrina cleared her throat that he even realized that she was nearby. She was standing by the bank of books and journals that he had in his office, and she had a legal book in her hand; she tapped it. "You might want to read section two of this. It relates to the case."
He looked at her with raised eyebrows. "It does?"
"Yes. The case is almost identical, and it didn't even go to trial. There is insufficient evidence that the defendant even committed the crime, just like this case."
"But in our case the deceased was a sixty-year-old male, receiving extra services from his favorite... er... masseuse," he said delicately because that was far from what Millicent Bayer had been. "He was otherwise healthy and was obviously poisoned. The drink he was having at the time was spiked. Traces of the poison were found in his glass. Millicent was the only person to have seen him except for the receptionist, who hadn't left her station."
"This case is similar," Sabrina said, "but it still got thrown out before going to trial."
"Thanks," Logan mumbled. "If this pans out, remind me to give you a raise."
Sabrina laughed. "Or you can take me to dinner."
Logan opened the book, not really hearing her, and if he had, he completely chose to shut her out. Sabrina hid her disappointment. Obviously, she had to make an extra effort with Logan, because playing sweet and light was not going to cut it with him; she could see that now.
Logan heaved a sigh and slammed down the book. "This case was thrown out because the evidence was lost. Not insufficient evidence. The difference is that they had the evidence, but the police lost it. This is not similar at all. The police are on this one because the deceased was a cop. They are not losing any evidence for this one, I can assure you. Well, back to work,” he said briskly.
Sabrina headed back to her desk, feeling equal parts disappointment that she couldn't have saved the day and equal parts happy that Melody was stood up for her precious anniversary.
Despite her tiredness and sheer exhaustion, she found the thought of Melody being sad and disgruntled heartening. The thought was better than coffee to perk her right back up.
She sat at her desk and pulled out her top drawer. She had a picture of the family stored there. It was six months old. Logan had carried it to work two weeks after she started working with him and asked her to get it framed for him; he had one done every year. She had accidentally broken the frame on his desk on seeing the picture.
Well, it had not quite been an accident. She had seen his perfect family, with his cute children and his unmistakably pretty wife, and she had felt enraged. It wasn't the smartest of things to do to have swept it off the table. Luckily, he hadn't been looking.
When he asked her to get the picture reframed she made a copy for herself, and she looked at it every so often, sometimes obsessively.
She was mostly focused on Melody and her smiling face. She wanted to wipe the smile from her face so badly she could taste it. She wanted what Melody had: a family and Logan. She wanted to see her suffer.
"I found something." Sabrina heard Kendra coming around the corner, and she hurriedly slammed the picture in her drawer.
Melody's perfect mouth, revealing her even white teeth, were smiling in her mind’s eye, though, and she closed her eyes, willing herself to focus.
"You look weird," Kendra said, a pile of books in her hand.
Sabrina's eyes flew open, and she smiled. "Just a little bit tired."