NBA superstar Merlin Miller is all set to marry his beautiful bride Raven, but on the morning of their wedding he wakes up to a gruesome crime scene. Merlin is shocked and doesn’t have clear answers to how this crime occurred. Their wedding day is doomed, and Merlin doesn’t know how to explain what happened. Merlin’s freedom may be on the line and there is certain information he hopes Raven never finds out.
Raven Clark is overjoyed on the day of her wedding. She is ready to marry Merlin and start their life together, but their wedding is put to a halt. When Raven finds out the catastrophic details of why their wedding is canceled, she is devastated. Raven stands by his side as Merlin tries to prove his innocence. But when she finds out about his lies and deception, Raven feels she has no other choice but to walk away.
Royal Miller has always been there for his brother Merlin through everything. He is Merlin’s agent and confidant. When he finds out the trouble Merlin has gotten himself into, he rushes to his side. Although Merlin is going through the biggest ordeal of his life, Royal finds a new romance. He is smitten with this new woman, but her past relationship is making it hard for their relationship to progress. Royal feels she is the one but doesn’t know if they can overcome this issue.
Fallon Hayes is a successful lawyer and Raven’s cousin and best friend. When Merlin is arrested for murder, she is hired as his lawyer. As she defends his case it’s difficult because certain details of the case may affect her relationship with Raven. Her priority is making sure she wins Merlin’s case, but an old and new romance clash, leaving Fallon feeling conflicted.
I trotted into my living room still feeling a little hungover from all the partying I did the night before. I stopped in my tracks as my eyes dropped to the floor. A gripping fear came over me. My body was paralyzed as I stared at my ex-girlfriend, Myra’s dead body on the floor. There was blood all over her light pink nightgown. I was standing too far away to see where her injuries were coming from. I finally got my body to move. I slowly walked over to her. My feet felt like they weighed a ton. When I reached her body, I saw that her throat had been slit. Her eyes were wide open. Who could have killed her? A terrifying thought came to my mind. I darted over to my front door to see if it had been tampered with. There was no sign of forced entry. The door was unlocked. That baffled me? How did the killer get into my house? Did they pick the lock? This didn’t make any sense to me. I went back over to Myra’s body. She was a beautiful woman with a caramel complexion and nice petite body. But looking at the gruesome sight of her now was making my stomach queasy.
I sprinted down the hall and to the bathroom. I barely got the toilet lid up before I vomited violently in the toilet. I flushed the toilet and rinsed my mouth out. As I washed my hands, I noticed they were trembling. I stood there for a moment trying to gather myself. I closed my eyes trying to convince myself this was a nightmare and when I opened my eyes everything would be fine. Today was my wedding day. I was marrying the love of my life, Raven. Today was supposed to be our new start together as husband and wife. I opened my eyes and found myself still in the bathroom. I knew it was just wishful thinking. When I walked back into the living room Myra would still be sprawled out on my floor dead. I needed to face this.
I walked back out into the living room. I stared at her dead body again. I don’t know how this could have happened to her. I had mixed emotions as I gazed at her body. I was sad, confused, and angry. I tore my eyes away from her and went upstairs to my bedroom to retrieve my cell phone. It was time to make that dreaded phone call to the police. I sat down on my bed and was about to dial 911 but hesitated. Once I dialed the number, I would be immediately under suspicion, and this would be major news all around the world. I’m Merlin Miller, the star guard for the Chicago Bulls. Everyone knew me and celebrated my success. I had just led the Bulls to a Championship last month. I played phenomenally in the NBA finals. I was the finals MVP. Holding that Championship trophy with my teammates was one of the best feelings in the world. Everyone was excited about my upcoming wedding. Now everything had come crashing down. Everyone would think I murdered Myra or had something to do with it. I was innocent but how would I explain my ex-girlfriend dead on my living room floor the morning of my wedding? I looked at the clock on my cell phone. It was 9:45. My wedding was starting at 1:00 p.m. There was no way I was getting married today. My heart ached and when I thought about Raven the ache turned into a burn. There was no way she would understand this.
I made the 911 call and explained everything to them. They said they would be here soon. Next, I called my brother Royal. He was my best man and he had always been there for me through everything. Royal answered after two rings.
“Hey, you ready for your big day.” Royal greeted cheerfully. I sighed feeling miserable. “Is everything okay?” Royal asked alarmed.
“No, it isn’t. I woke up and found Myra dead in my living room?”
“What did you just say? I had to have heard you wrong. Repeat that again.”
“You didn’t hear me wrong. Please don’t make me repeat it.”
“Oh my God! Are you sure she’s dead?”
“Yes, her throat was slit.”
“Did you call the police?”
“Yes, they are on their way.”
“Man, what was she doing in your house?” I was silent. “Merlin did she spend the night at your house or something?” I was still silent. My head was pounding. “Answer me now!” Royal screamed in my ear.
“Don’t yell at me right now. I can’t take it. Just get over here now!” I needed my brother by my side. I couldn’t wait until he got here, but I wasn’t looking forward to him reprimanding me.
“I’m on my way and be careful about what you tell the police. Don’t answer any questions until you have a lawyer.”
“I’m innocent though.”
“It doesn’t matter. Still don’t say anything.” We ended the call.
I washed up, put some clothes on, and then I went downstairs and sat in the sitting room until the police and paramedics arrived. They knew she was dead the moment they looked at her. They called the coroner and then we went into the sitting room so they could question me. I sat on the couch, and they sat across from me.
“I’m Detective Gates and this is my partner Detective Leary. Please tell us again everything that happened.”
“I woke up, went downstairs, and found Myra’s body on my living room floor.”
“What is your relationship with Myra?” Detective Gates asked.
“She’s my ex-girlfriend.”
“How is it that she was murdered in your home? Did she spend the night?” Detective Gates questioned.
“No, she came over to talk to me. I’m getting married tomorrow and she wanted to tell me how she felt about me before I got married.”
“And what did she tell you exactly?” Detective Leary chimed in. I was feeling uncomfortable with their questions. I didn’t want to get into all the details.
“We need to know exactly what she said. She came over to talk to you and then she ended up dead. So, the conversation you had with her is very important.” Detective Leary explained.
“She told me she still loved me and wanted to be with me. I told her that I loved my fiancée and that nothing would ever be between us again.”
“And that’s all that happened?” Detective Gates said raising his eyebrow.
“Yes, I told her to leave.”
“She was found in her nightgown. So, it appears that she spent the night. Merlin, I’m a huge fan of yours and congratulations on your championship. I know you’re getting married today and I want to see that happen. But unfortunately, I don’t see how you will be able to get married today. You can make things easier by telling us the truth about what really happened here.” Detective Gates stared at me intently waiting for my response. I stared back at him trying to find the right words to explain the mess I had gotten myself in. It seemed like time had stood still. I remembered what Royal said about being careful about what I told them. This situation didn’t look good, and things definitely weren’t in my favor. I opened my mouth then closed it. I was at a loss for words. I was terrified about saying anything. Royal walked into the sitting room and my body flooded with relief.
Royal nodded to the detectives then asked, “Merlin, are you okay?”
“We’re about to take Merlin down to the precinct for questioning.” Detective Gates interrupted. Both Detectives rose from the sofa. I reluctantly stood to my feet knowing I didn’t have a choice.
“Thanks for coming Roy. Follow us to the precinct.”
“Sure.” Royal answered. I could see the worry on his face. This still didn’t seem real, and I hadn’t processed it all.
We all left the sitting room. The coroners were placing Myra’s body in a black body bag. We waited for them to take her out of the house and then we all left. I was quiet in the back seat as we rode to the precinct.
When we arrived, they took a sample of my DNA. I didn’t have anything to hide so I wasn’t worried about that. Then they escorted me into an interrogation room. I was nervous as I sat down in the chair across from them. I had seen people get interrogated on television and read about it many books, but I never had that experience until now. My heart was racing, and my palms began to sweat. Calm down. I silently said. If they saw me breaking a sweat, they would think that I had something to hide. Both detectives had their eyes trained on me. Detective Gates begin to speak.
“Merlin, I’m going to say this to you again. It is important that you be truthful about everything. We want to find out who killed Myra Scott. Now I want you to tell me again about Myra’s visit to your house. I want to know exactly what time she arrived at your house last night.”
“Myra arrived at my house about 11:30 p.m. I had been home about an hour because I attended my bachelor’s party. I was surprised to see her. I was hesitant to let her in, but she said she really needed to talk to me. I let her in, and she told me that she loved me and wanted to be with me. She didn’t want me to get married tomorrow. I told her I was in love with my fiancée Raven and that I was getting married to her. I told her what we had was over.”
“And how did she respond to that?” Detective Gates asked me.
“She was a little upset and emotional, but she knew she wasn’t going to change my mind. She then left my house, and I went to sleep. When I woke up the next morning, I found her dead in my living room.”
“Myra died in her nightgown. Is that what she was wearing when she came over your house?” Detective Leary questioned.
“Yes, but she had a small jacket covering it.”
“Did you actually see Myra leave your house?” Detective Gates asked.
“No. After I made it clear that I wasn’t going back to her, I told her to leave and left my living room. I was really tired and drunk, so I went upstairs and went to sleep.”
“When you let Myra in did you lock the door? Myra obviously didn’t leave, and someone came into your house and killed her.”
“You’re right. I never locked my door.” I thought someone may have picked the lock, but I realized I never locked the door back when I let Myra in. I shook my head at my carelessness, but I was really sleepy.
“Something about your story still doesn’t make sense. There seems to be some pieces missing. I find it hard to believe that you went upstairs and went to sleep and didn’t make sure that Myra left. I believe she spent the night with you. Perhaps you two had one last fling before you wedding day.” Detective Gates stated.
“You will be very wrong about that.” I said angrily.
“Why are you so angry?” Detective Leary asked as he studied me. I knew I had messed up by letting my anger show. When a person gets angry it usually means they have something to hide or are guilty.
“Yes, we’re just trying to find out what happened so we can clear your name.” Detective Gates added.
“It doesn’t sound like it to me. I’m angry because this all happened on my wedding day. I’m supposed to be marrying the woman that I love but instead I’m in here answering questions about my ex-girlfriend's death.”
“That’s right. You’re answering questions about your ex-girlfriend's death. How do you feel about her death? She was once someone you cared about. You don’t seem to have any remorse about her death.” Detective Gates observed.
“I do feel bad that she’s dead, but I don’t have time to process that right now.” I was seething inside. They were going to try to pin this on me I could feel it.
“We have a couple more questions for you Merlin.” Detective Gates continued.
“I’m not answering any more questions without a lawyer.”
“Why not answer our questions if you have nothing to hide?” Detective Leary asked.
“I have nothing else to say. May I go now?” Detective Gates and Leary exchanged glances before they turned their attention to me.
“Sure, but your home is a crime scene right now and you can’t go back there.” Detective Gates informed me.
“I need to go back to my house to get some clothes and I need my phone.”
“You can’t retrieve anything in your house. It’s all evidence.” I was becoming frustrated. I needed my phone, and I didn’t have my keys on me. But Royal should be here by now and would give me a ride. “Make sure you stay in town because we will probably have more questions for you.”
“Okay, I’m leaving now.” I stood up and left the interrogation room. I made my way to the front and saw Royal sitting in one of the chairs waiting for me. When he saw me, he looked relieved. He stood up as I walked over to him.
“Thank God. I thought they were going to arrest you.”
“They couldn’t arrest me because I didn’t do it. Let’s get out of here.” Royal and I left the precinct and got into his gray Audi A8.
“I appreciate you coming to get me.”
Royal was a great brother. He was also my agent. Royal and I were born and raised in Chicago. Our mother was a Japanese woman named Aina and our father is an African American man named Leonard. My mother is a nurse at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and my father is the director there. Royal and I were both tall, lean, and fit. I’m 6’4 and Royal is 6’2. We both had almond complexions and silky hair. We were known as the pretty Miller boys. The women loved us. I had always been great at basketball and when I got drafted to the Chicago Bulls, I was excited and honored. It was awesome to be able to play for the city I was born and raised in. Royal was very intelligent and, on his way, to becoming a doctor. He was attending medical school at John’s Hopkins, but I told him I really wanted him to be my agent. I needed him by my side. I trusted no one to negotiate my deals but him. He agreed to be my agent and dropped out of medical school and moved back to Chicago. My parents were disappointed that he dropped out of medical school, but they still supported him. Royal was an excellent agent. He negotiated great deals for me. He just negotiated a one hundred twenty-million-dollar four-year deal with the Chicago Bulls. He also got me a deal with Nike that was worth millions. Royal was so great that other athletes came to him to negotiate their deals. Royal opened Miller Sports Management Agency. His company was very successful. I’m twenty-six and Royal is twenty-eight.
“Of course, I’m going to be here for you. Now you need to tell me why Myra was at your house.
“She came over to tell that she was still in love with me and wanted me to call off the wedding.”
“And did you sleep with her?”
“Either you did, or you didn’t. There isn’t a maybe.”
“Okay, I did. I was had been drinking and she was looking good in her little pink nightgown. I couldn’t help myself.” Myra was a dancer for the Chicago Bulls. Our chemistry has always been great. We were together for two years and at one point I thought I was in love with her.
“You slept with her the night before your wedding. What were you thinking? Never mind. I already know what you were thinking. Did she spend the night with you?”
“I don’t know. We went a couple of rounds and then I fell asleep. I had assumed she left, but when I woke up, I found her dead in my living room.”
“Did you tell the police this?”
“No exactly. I told them Myra came over and told me she loved me and asked me to call off the wedding, but I didn’t tell them I slept with her.”
“You should have told them that Merlin because they are probably going to find out anyway.”
“I didn’t want them all in my business. I didn’t want it to get out that I had sex with her the night before our wedding. Raven is going to kill me if she finds out. I have to make sure she never does.”
“She’s going to find out so you may as well tell her.”
“I’m not going to tell her.” My insides turned as I imagined what this would do to her. “Take me to your house. I can’t go to my house because it’s a crime scene.”
“We need to go to the church, so you can talk to Raven and tell her everything. She needs to know before it hits the news.”
“No, I need to go to your place first. I need to shower and change clothes and then I will be ready to face her.” I didn’t know how I would explain this to her. But I did know that we weren’t getting married today. Our wedding day is doomed.