“He was quite cold-blooded about killing you, my love. At least it seems that way from what he wrote in his diary. At first he thought about just firing you, sending you away. But he was afraid that Celeste would think he had just done that so that he could visit you whenever he wanted to without anyone being the wiser. And so he decided he had to be rid of you permanently.”
William took Rebecca’s hand in his as he continued. “Robert’s fight with Celeste, and then her coming to you afterwards, gave him the perfect set-up to make it look as if you’d committed suicide, and he took it.”
“But if he was so bent on using and then…then killing me, why did he shoot himself so soon after I died?”
“Because, purely by accident, he found out about his wife and the housekeeper. He went to town three days after your death and burial, which by the way he paid for without any protest. He was supposed to stay in town over night, something to do with his business, but changed his mind and returned to the house where he caught them in flagrante delicto. As you can imagine a fight of major proportions ensued, at least from his description of it. Celeste told him in no uncertain terms that she would continue to act as his wife in public but that in the privacy of their own home he was to leave her alone.”
“But when she came to me… Wil she was so upset that night.”
“I’d suspect she did that because it was what was expected of her, just as she fought with him when she found out about the two of you. A smoke screen to keep him placated. If he believed she was very angry that he had had an affair with you, it would pave the way for her being able to keep him away from her and from her bed.”
“So he killed himself not because he’d murdered me, but because he found out that doing that had been in vain. That Celeste would never love him, and had in fact used him and their marriage as a way to cover up her relationship with Rosanne.” She rested her head on William’s shoulder as she let everything they now knew sink in.
He pulled her closer, turning to press a kiss to her forehead, and then smiled. A faint glow began to encompass her body. As it brightened he tipped her chin up, kissing her softly as she started to fade away.
“I love you,” he whispered. “And I’ll be seeing you soon at Mother’s. Don’t,” he added with a soft chuckle, “let her boss you around too much when you get there.”
“I love you too, so very much.” The kiss she returned felt like the brush of a butterfly’s wing against his lips and in the last seconds before she vanished she told him, “I don’t boss easily.”
William laughed joyfully while he began gathering up the diaries and letters. Putting them back into the case, he took it with him as he left the room. Before leaving the mansion for the last time he put the case where it could be found by the first person to come to work at the mansion the next day. “Now the real truth will be known,” he said as he faded away, going to join Rebecca at his mother’s home.