Her gaze traveled over the dresser. She almost didn’t see it since it blended in so well. She did a double-take and her lips parted.
“No way,” she breathed, walking over to the dresser.
She picked up the necklace, immediately recognizing the thin, cheap leather knock-off rope. Her breath caught as she ran her thumb over the medallion she’d carved for him. It was rather simple and kind of crude. Just a circle with a sword and chisel she’d carved into it. For some reason, she’d thought adding the sword was the cleverest thing ever. Kind of dumb now; the whole the-chisel-is-mightier-than-the-sword thought she had going on, but Gabe . . .
After all these years, Gabe had kept it.
Tears pricked at her eyes as she curved her fingers around the medallion. He’d kept the necklace that she’d brought him that night four years ago. He hadn’t hidden it. It lay on his dresser, where he could see it every day.
Every day for four years.
More affected by that than she could’ve ever imagined, she brought the necklace to her chest just as she heard the water turn off in the shower. Unable to even begin to stop the smile racing across her face, she turned toward the bathroom. A few moments passed and then the door opened. Steam rolled out as—holy shit.
Sabrina Harrington walked out of Gabe’s shower, wearing nothing but a towel around her slender body.
Nikki’s mouth dropped open. “What in the hell?”
The woman jolted, her eyes widening. She paled so quickly that for a moment Nikki thought she might actually pass out. “What are you doing in Gabe’s room?” Sabrina recovered, snapping out the question.
Was she serious? Asking her that question. “What are you doing in his shower?”
Her lips twisted in a smirk as she clutched at where the towel was folded above her breasts. “Why do you think I’m using his shower?”
Nikki laughed—straight up laughed. She couldn’t help it, because she knew what Sabrina was insinuating with that comment. “You are so full of shit—like so much shit that you have no space left for a brain.”
She drew back, her mouth dropping open. “Excuse me?”
“There is no way in hell Gabe knows you’re up here in his shower, you utter freak. If he came in here and found you, he would kick your ass out.” Nikki laughed again, mostly out of shock. She couldn’t believe this. Taking a shower in Gabe’s bathroom was beyond freaking creepy. Like she was pretty sure she’d seen stalkers do this on that one TV channel that focused on crime stories. “Holy crap.”
“What do you know?” Sabrina shot back, her free hand curling into a fist.
“I know he can’t stand you. Everyone knows that, so don’t even stand there and try to act like he even knows you’re up here.” Nikki held her ground. “And how convenient that you’re in here when Dev left for Houston. Were you up here hoping to surprise Gabe? Jesus. What is wrong with you? Seriously.”
“And what are you doing up here, you bitch? Cleaning his room and rifling through his stuff?”
Nikki’s brows lifted as she started to turn away. She needed to find Gabe stat. This thing with Sabrina had crossed all kinds of lines. “I actually have a reason to be up here. Unlike you, you creepy, sad woman.”
“Oh, I know why you’re up here. I know all about you and Gabe. He’s fucking you, right? Isn’t he, Nicolette.” Sabrina waited until Nikki faced her. “Not that I blame you, but I hope, for your sake, you realize that’s all he’s doing. Just fucking you.” She looked her over with a rather impressive sneer. “After all, that’s what your type is good for.”
“My type? Whatever. I don’t even want to know why you think—”
“Why I think you guys are fucking? Because I heard you two together just last week. You were in one of the extra bedrooms,” Sabrina said. “You sound like a whore when you call out his name.”
Shock splashed through her. There had been someone in the hallway that day. She’d chalked up the door opening to the weird house, but it had been Sabrina. Anger quickly replaced the shock. She’d been watching them? Listening to them?
“At least he’s fucking me,” she fired back, too damn furious to stop herself. “I bet that just gets to you, doesn’t it? You’ve wanted him for how long and all you get to do is shower in his bathroom like a stalker?”
Sabrina let out a choked-sounding screech. One that sort of unnerved Nikki. It was far past time she got out of this room and found Gabe. Something truly was not right about this woman.
“You know he’s in love with another woman, right?” Sabrina said.
“You’re talking about Emma? I know all about her.”
“I’m talking about the mother of his child,” Sabrina said.
Everything inside of Nikki stopped as an icy chill swept down her spine. She thought she hadn’t heard her right. The mother of his child? “Gabe doesn’t have a kid.”
A wide smile broke out across Sabrina’s face. “Oh, yes, he does. His name is William and he lives in Baton Rouge with his grandparents.”
Nikki’s entire body jerked. Baton Rouge. Gabe was looking for a place there—no, no way. Sabrina had to be lying, because after all the things Gabe and she talked about, after everything they’d shared, there was no way he’d never mention that he had a child.
“Didn’t know that, did you?” Sabrina sounded smug. “That’s because he’s only fucking you, Nikki. He’s not sharing his life with you.”
The venom-laced words were a barb that struck home. She shook her head and backed up, still clutching the necklace in her hand. “You’re insane.”
“I’m not insane. I’m just right.”
“If you think Gabe is going to be okay with this—”
Sabrina shot forward then, gripping Nikki’s arm. “If you know what’s good for you, you’ll keep your mouth shut about this.”
She glanced down at where Sabrina held onto her arm. “You are truly out of your mind if you think I’m not going to say something to Gabe—to Devlin. Your fiancé needs to know—”
“You open your mouth about this and I will make sure you never speak again.” Sabrina’s pale eyes flashed cold. “Do not underestimate me, Nikki. The de Vincents aren’t the only ones who know how to make people disappear.”
Disbelief washed over Nikki. “Are you seriously threatening me?”
“You say you know everything about Emma?” Sabrina smiled. “Bet you don’t know that the brothers killed her attacker, did you? Lucian and Gabe. His name was Chris. They beat him to death.”
Nikki’s chest turned cold. Not because she was hearing something like that. She’d grown up in the de Vincent home. She knew what they were capable of. What terrified her was that Sabrina might know something that dangerous.
“Let go of me,” Nikki said, holding Sabrina’s gaze.
“Are you going to keep your mouth shut about this?”
Something occurred to her as she stared at Sabrina. She thought about the day she’d fallen down the outdoor steps. Sabrina had been there. Nikki had even thought about the possibility of it having been Sabrina, but she dismissed it, because Sabrina would’ve had to be seriously insane to do that. She also thought about the day Gabe’s passenger window had been broken out while she sat in the seat. Could Sabrina have been involved in that?
Now it didn’t seem so crazy. Sabrina could’ve seen her carrying the flowers, locked the second-floor doors from that hallway, and then waited for her outside. Could she have been following Gabe—following Nikki and saw where she lived? Nikki had thought it might’ve been Ross that night she’d spilled champagne on Sabrina, but what if it was Sabrina?
All because she speculated something was going to happen between Nikki and Gabe. Jesus.
“Was it you?” Nikki asked, her unease growing. “Did you push me down the stairs that day I was carrying the flowers?”
Sabrina gave her an icy smile. “If I had done that, I could’ve killed you. I’m not a bad person.”