The Kroft Family - The Murder of One

-The First Book in the Kroft Series- Michael Kroft's life wasn't perfect. He shared a home with his irritating sisters Flo and Dianne and annoying older brother George. His father was an alcoholic with anger issues, and his mother was pregnant with, yet another girl. Then Alice was born. And things went from bad to worse. Because Alice wasn't Alice Kroft, she was Alice Peters. And the day his father found out, his mother was murdered. Now with his dad the prime suspect of a murder investigation, Drew Peters asking for 'his daughter' back, and social services against them, Michael must unite his siblings so they can raise Alice as a Kroft, and keep Drew Peters grubby hands off her.

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17. Case closed?

I stormed through the front door, slamming it front behind me.

"Michael! What's wrong?" Dianne was tear-stained, but still alert. 

"Where is she?" I panted.

"Who?"

"Florida!" I screamed. This alerted Flo, who stepped out of the kitchen, he eyes wide.

"What's the matter Michael?" She brushed flower off of mother's apron. 

"I know you knew" I murmured, making direct eye contact. Dianne and George both looked at me confused, but Flo's eyes turned into apologetic gems.

"Maybe we should talk in private" she offered. I thought for a moment, then decided.

"No" no more secrets.  

"Please Michael" she begged.

"Flo knew" I addressed my other two elder siblings, "she knew Alice wasn't a Kroft. The night Mum died Zach overheard her and mum arguing about it." 

"Zach told you this?" George said at the same time Dianne said,

"I don't understand..."

"It's true" Flo gave in, "I knew".

"Florida? How?" George took the lead. Flo didn't reply straight away, instead she lead us all into the living room, and sat down. 

"When Drew Peters first came over to do our windows, I was in the kitchen making him a cup of tea. I took it out to him, but what I saw wasn't him cleaning the windows. Him and mum were kissing passionately on the patio, as if this house was theirs, not ours. I interrupted them, much to mum's embarrassment. She told me how they'd just sparked, and how it was nothing to worry about...Then when she got pregnant a few days later, I knew something was up. I confronted her before Alice was born, and she admitted that the baby wasn't dads. She promised me that no-one would find out, that it would all be fine. Then again, she'd previously promised me it was nothing to worry about, it was fair to say I wasn't very trusting. And apparently, I was right. That night I went to the pub to confront her, she was too drunk to understand much of it. She told me she was just going to the toilet, and that after that I could walk her home. She took forever though, probably vomiting up all the drink. So I left without her." Flo concluded her story. 

"And you didn't think to mention this until now?" George's voice was stiff in anger.

"It was nothing we didn't already know, Alice is a Peters, not a Kroft" Flo shrugged. 

"How could you Flo?" Dianne looked up at her, Flo looked away.

"How could any of you?" I spoke up.

"What?" George loomed over me, using his height.

"How could any of you? I mean, George threw away his university papers, Dianne had a secret boyfriend, and Flo knew Alice was a Peters! All three of you were there on the night of the murder! These details are important, but you were all selfish enough to keep them quiet!" I shouted at them all, exiting to the hall.

"Well you've been irritably nosey!" George followed me out, along with Flo and Dianne.

"That's because she's DEAD!" I exclaimed, waving my arms about for emphasis, "and I would like to know who KILLED HER!"

"WE WOULD ALL LIKE TO KNOW THAT, YOU IDIOT!" George shouted at me, his spit landing on my face.

"You're all hypocrites. So angry at others secrets, but you all have ones of your own." I lowered by voice again, making for the door.

"You're not going anywhere" George blocked my way, "no more snooping, it's only making it worse. You're going to go up to your room and stay there until you are told you can come down. You are going to be obedient and stop tearing this family apart." 

"You can't make me" I stood up to him.

"I can't force you to go to your room, but I can stop you from leaving his house, and I will." George folded his arms across his chest. 

"What happened to together?" I now talked to all of my siblings, "what happened to solving this mystery together?" 

"Ask yourself that" Flo replied first.

"Sorry Michael, but we clearly can't put aside our difference and our grudges to work as one team" Dianne appologised. 

"There should be seven Kroft's in that together Michael, there were only 4." George sighed.

"I. Hate. You. All." I grunted, stressing each and every word, "none of you care about her enough to do this, none of you."

"Well you can hardly talk!" Dianne bit back.

"How can you say such a thing?" Flo glared at me.

"You don't know what you're saying!" George shoved me slightly.

"Stop." A new voice commanded from the top of the stairway, it was dad. "I killed her" he announced to us, "I killed your mother. Now stop arguing and come together as a family, okay? It's over." 

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