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The Lies We Live With

Published by: eXtasy Books

Author : Chris Bedell

ISBN :978-1-4874-3761-9

Page :238

Word Count :60910

Publication Date :2023-05-19

Series : The Lies We Live With#1

Heat Level :

Available Formats : The Lies We Live With (prc) , The Lies We Live With (pdf) , The Lies We Live With (mobi) , The Lies We Live With (epub)

Category : Contemporary , LGBTQIA+ , Mystery and Suspense

  • Product Code: 978-1-4874-3761-9

Four siblings deal with the murder of their father—the CEO of a wealthy fashion company. Each sibling has a secret. But the biggest secret of all is what their father did over a decade ago, which might’ve been motive to kill him.

Numerous people had a reason to murder Mr. Crawford, including his children...

Colin knew his father was having an affair with his ex-mistress and was going to leave his mom. 


Phoebe was laundering money through the family's fashion company to deal with her husband's debt to a notorious drug cartel. 


Carla isn't really Carla—someone paid her to assume the identity of the oldest Crawford child. 

Levi is bisexual and ashamed to come out despite having a secret and supportive boyfriend. 


But the Crawford children having motive to kill their father doesn’t mean they’re actually guilty of murder. And if the truth about the murder doesn't come out sooner rather than later, one or more members of the Crawford family might go down for the murder.

Colin never avoided conflict. 

Like when he accosted his mailman about a package that never arrived. Or when he demanded his high school geometry teacher give him extra credit so he wouldn’t fail. Or like when he persuaded his father to make him president of their family’s fashion company. Or even like while he sat in back of Henry’s, meeting his brother’s gaze, as an overhead light flickered.

Levi hovered in front of Colin and Sam. “Answer my question!”

“It’s my birthday, not yours,” Colin said.

Phoebe grabbed Levi’s arm. “Maybe we should leave them be.” 

Levi brushed Phoebe off. “Not until I know why Colin lied about his evening plans.”

Sam adjusted his posture in his chair but didn’t speak. And Colin didn’t blame Sam for his silence. Sam was only his boyfriend. It wasn’t like Phoebe and Levi were Sam’s siblings. Sam wasn’t required to deal with Phoebe and Levi—not if he didn’t want to.

Colin grunted. “If you don’t know why I don’t wanna spend tonight with you, then you’re more clueless than I realized.”

“Insulting Levi isn’t gonna help anything.” Phoebe tucked a lock of dirty blonde hair behind her ear. 

The chattering of numerous voices echoed through the restaurant. But Colin didn’t care that the restaurant was crowded. Not when Levi wouldn’t leave him and Sam alone.

“Weren’t you gonna grab sushi?” Colin asked. 

Levi tugged at the sides of his blazer. “It would’ve been over an hour wait for a table.”

“Oh,” Colin said. 

Levi’s Adam’s apple throbbed. “Can’t you appreciate how I wanted to do something nice for you?” 

“Please,” Colin said. “You don’t care about my birthday. You just wanna celebrate your PR campaign for the teen line.”

Colin didn’t regret his comment—not even for a second. Kindness was a noble idea, but Colin had learned a long time ago that someone either got bullied or was the bully. And Colin refused to be a victim. 

“That’s not true, and you know it,” Levi said.

“Doubtful.” Colin drank more of his Mai Tai, and the mixture of the alcohol and sweet flavors from the drink’s juices electrified his taste buds. His cheeks even flushed. And that was okay. Colin was too sober for his current conversation with Levi.

“Make me understand,” Levi snapped, face turning bright red.

Sam patted Colin’s hand. “We can pay the check and find another restaurant to have dinner at.”

“You always give me a hard time,” Colin blurted.

Levi snorted. “That’s what older brothers do.” 

“If I didn’t know better, I’d think you’re jealous,” Colin said.

Levi nodded. “You’re right. I’m envious of you.”

“It’s not like I ever hurt you,” Colin said.

“That’s not true, and you know it,” Levi said.

Phoebe rubbed her gold wedding ring. “Come on, Levi. Colin deserves to enjoy his birthday. So you two can hash this out later.”

Sam adjusted his bowtie. “Phoebe has a point.” 

Levi eyed Sam for a beat. “Nobody asked your opinion.”

“Don’t talk to my boyfriend like that,” Colin said. 

“I’ll talk to him however I feel,” Levi said.

Colin bit his lip. “You never told me why you’re jealous of me.”

“Even you can’t be that obtuse,” Levi said.

Colin’s focus remained glued to Levi—he meant every word. If Levi was going to give him shit, then Colin wanted to know Levi’s motive. It was the least Colin deserved. He could only tolerate Levi’s antics for so long.

 “You became president of the company after graduating high school,” Levi continued.

“I earned the position,” Colin said. “I interned at the company every summer during high school.” 

“And that means you deserve the spot below CEO?” Levi asked.

“If you’re unhappy about turning thirty in a couple of years and having no noteworthy accomplishments, then that’s on you.” Colin finished his Mai Tai, then gestured at the waitress—who stood a few feet away from Colin’s table—for a refill. “And last time I checked, being in charge of PR is a prestigious title. Maybe you should quit while you’re ahead.”

The waitress shuffled over to Colin’s table before grabbing the empty glass, then left as fast as she arrived.

“It’s not the same thing as being President or Vice President,” Levi finally said.

“If you’re upset that Dad doesn’t want you designing, then take that up with him.” Colin smirked. “But let’s get real. Your obsession towards me started long before I became President of Crawford Creations. I might be the younger brother, but you’ve always lived in my shadow.”

Levi glanced at Phoebe. “You can’t be happy with how Colin has a higher position at the company than you?”

Colin’s pulse pounded in his ears. He couldn’t believe Levi’s remark. Contemplating Levi being a jackass and Levi actually being a jackass were two different things. Colin didn’t want to believe Levi could let his nonsensical tirade continue for so long. It being Friday night meant work should’ve been the last things on their minds. But no. Levi insisted on having his way and ruining the evening.

Phoebe scoffed. “Don’t drag me into this. It’s your problem, not mine.”

“Whatever,” Levi said.

“And if Dad thinks Colin is fit to be president, then I’m not gonna question his decision,” Phoebe said. “I’m sure Dad knows what he’s doing.”

Relief flooded Colin’s body. Phoebe wasn’t as bold as him, but Phoebe’s indirect support comforted Colin. He didn’t know what he would’ve done if Phoebe was the carbon copy of Levi. Bickering with one sibling was bad enough, so Colin couldn’t have imagined a second sibling antagonizing him.

Levi tucked his hands into his blazer pockets. “No surprise you’d follow Dad’s lead. You’ve never disobeyed a rule in your life.”

“Nothing wrong with doing the right thing—you should try it sometime,” Phoebe said.

“You couldn’t sound more cliché if you were in a Hallmark movie,” Levi said. 

Phoebe elbowed Levi. “You’re one to talk. You’ve never watched a Hallmark movie.”

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Tags: LGBTQ, Thriller, Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense, Family Saga