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Fake Things
Author: Charity Parkerson




Becoming the deep fake of a sitting senator was never part of Kenneth’s life plan. Neither was falling for the detective bent on exposing him.

For most of his adult life, Kenneth has belonged to a crime lord. When his boss offers him a chance to transform into a missing sitting senator, he sees it as his chance to carve a new path for himself. Except the moment he gets his new assignment, Kenneth becomes an even bigger prisoner than ever before. The cameras and a local detective are always watching. One of those things is his new reason to live.

Detective Nic Higgins knows something isn’t quite right with Senator Kenneth Yearly. He just can’t figure out what. Every time he sets eyes on Kenneth, there’s a feeling in his gut. Nic can’t let it go. Unfortunately, curiosity isn’t the only emotion the cold-hearted senator stirs in Nic, and the truth won’t set him free.

Fake Things is the fourth book in Charity Parkerson’s Damaged Devils series. These are dark romance stories with crime lords, assassins, and sociopaths who find their hearts. They are best enjoyed when read in order.



Chapter One



A cringe—like when hearing nails on a chalkboard—went through Kenneth as Wendy pushed her empty coffee cup across the kitchen table. Kenneth’s eye twitched. He didn’t give her the attention she hoped to achieve. Before Kenneth had transformed into Senator Kenneth Yearly, his name had been Jared. Jared had felt sorry for Wendy Yearly. After all, the poor woman had been married to a psychopath in politician’s clothing for nearly a decade. Now that Jared was Kenneth in every aspect that mattered, he hated her. He despised every breath she took. Kenneth saw her for the pathetic human she was. He didn’t know how the real Kenneth hadn’t killed her. Maybe he would have if the new Kenneth’s organization hadn’t killed the old Kenneth first. A smile tugged at Kenneth’s lips. He fought a chuckle. Truth be told, he was a bit of a psychopath too. That was what made him perfect for this role.

“Why are you smiling at your phone? Who are you cheating on me with this time? You’ve already been through my son and some other guy half your age. What’s this one’s name? You know, so I’ll know who plans to humiliate me next.”

Kenneth drew a slow, steadying breath. His gaze lifted. He met the gaze of his bodyguard—another plant from his organization. They held each other’s stare. King pulled out his gun behind Wendy. Kenneth bit back another smile and shook his head. King’s shoulders fell. He put his gun away.

“I’m watching cat videos.” He turned his phone so Wendy could see the device before he tucked it inside his shirt pocket. “But since you’re hellbent on being humiliated, we should get divorced.”

Panic crossed her features the way it always did when Kenneth brought up the inevitable. They had to shake her. It was past time for her to get out of the way. Now that he had won re-election, she had to go before she discovered he wasn’t the man she had married. This was a better option for her. They could easily make her disappear.

“I’m too old to go back to work, and you’ve driven a wedge between my son and me. I don’t have anything if I don’t have you.”

Kenneth fought hard not to roll his eyes. “You’ll be fine. I’ll have my lawyer get started on things.”

“I’ll tell everyone what you did to my son.”

Kenneth kept talking, uncaring of her threats. Her son had disappeared two years ago. He wasn’t coming back, and he wouldn’t corroborate any claims she made. “I’ll even let you have my second house in New York on Wisconsin Street.”

“What house on Wisconsin Street? We only have the one house in New York.”

A cruel smile twisted Kenneth’s lips. His hatred for her rose to the surface, making him closer to the real Kenneth than ever before. “I have two houses in New York. The one we live in part time, and the one I bought on Wisconsin Street for Chad, so I could fuck him as loudly as I wanted, with no interference from you.” Her expression almost made him regret the words. The original Kenneth had married Wendy years ago just to have her son. Chad had been an adult, and Yearly could have openly claimed him, but Senator Yearly had publicly been a staunch opponent of gays. Privately, he had fucked all the men. He hadn’t been attached to any of them except Chad. Kenneth had died for that obsession. Now, he, the new Kenneth, had to deal with the fallout of the former senator’s weaknesses. He wouldn’t deal with this issue any longer. It was time for Wendy to face the truth and go.

A moment passed. Wendy’s open hurt turned to calculation. The way he had known it would. “You’ve always said you’d leave me penniless. I can’t afford to maintain a house.”

Kenneth shrugged and stood. “Then sell it. We have an ironclad prenup. You’ll get nothing else from me. You should be grateful for my willingness to do even that much.” He had been prepared to offer money, but he hadn’t realized old Kenneth had told her that. Kenneth couldn’t afford to tip his hand by being more generous than his predecessor. He grabbed his jacket. “I’ll have my attorney bring you the keys later today. You should prepare to be out by tomorrow.” Kenneth paused while buttoning the suit jacket. “Sign the papers today, and the house I mentioned is yours. If you don’t, then you’ll get nothing. Your son is hiding from me for a reason. Follow his example and leave quietly. Otherwise, your silence will be permanent in every way.”

The way Wendy gripped the edge of the table and held her tongue said a lot about the old Kenneth’s cruelty. She already knew she had lost and believed him capable of anything. Again, he almost felt sorry for her. She had obviously endured a lot. But she had also turned her back on her son, who had been a victim of the man she had chosen to marry. In the end, her greediness would always win. He didn’t doubt that would be true today too. She would sign those papers. Kenneth would finally be free. Well, as free as he would ever be now that he was trapped in this new life. He would take what he could get.



Nic checked his watch. It was eight thirty on the dot. He made a note on his phone. Kenneth always left at the same time every day to make his way through traffic to work. Nic didn’t know what he hoped to learn by keeping meticulous notes on Kenneth’s whereabouts when he was in town, but he hoped to spot something. Anything. He didn’t know why he couldn’t let this case go.

It had been his case. Months of wasted time and taxpayer dollars. Almost two years ago, Senator Yearly had fallen off the face of the planet. For several months, a team of FBI agents with Nic at the helm had searched tirelessly for the man. Then, right when Nic thought he had cracked the case, Yearly popped back up like a bad penny, acting as if no harm had been caused by his disappearance. For him, maybe no damage had been done. He had cake-walked his way through the next election. The man’s wife hadn’t even left him, even though he had very publicly announced he had disappeared because of an affair. Meanwhile, Nic had looked like a goddamn fool for treating the man’s disappearance like a murder investigation. To his core, he knew something still wasn’t quite right about the entire fiasco. Nic just couldn’t decide what.

“Can we go now? We’re supposed to be focusing on the Jefferson case. The Yearly case is closed. It’s been closed. You need to let this go.”

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