For five days, secret tapes of Amber Frey's and Scott Peterson's torrid affair captivated the jury in Peterson's murder trial.
Their whirlwind romance lasted less than five weeks, but in that time Peterson offered Amber the world. To her, he was a wealthy jet setter.
On New Year's Eve, he told her he was calling from Paris, watching fireworks in front of the Eiffel Tower.
But there were no fireworks at the Eiffel Tower, no American revelers singing in the streets. In fact, Peterson wasn't even in the City of Lights. He was much closer, just 100 miles north of her, in Modesto, Calif., where Peterson, a fertilizer salesman, had lived with his pregnant wife, Laci.
Ron Frey, Amber's father, says his daughter was "falling in love right from the beginning.
"Some people say sex; it was the real thing in Amber's mind," he says.
Peterson was not some stranger that 27-year-old Frey, a lonely, single mother, met at a bar. He was someone that she had been fixed up with by her best friend, Shawn Sibley.
"Shawn also indicated to Scott that Scott should not seek to meet Amber unless he was looking for a long-term, meaningful relationship," says Gloria Allred, Amber's attorney. "Scott Peterson lied to her and led her to believe that he was not married."
Just hours after meeting Peterson for a drink, Frey found herself in his hotel room, where he charmed and seduced her with roses, strawberries and champagne.
Dean Hoffinger, who has known Frey for years and even dated her for a while, says she has gone through some bad relationships.
According to friends, Frey had been a party girl but was settling down. She grew up tough; her parents split up when she was a kid. There was a string of unsavory boyfriends and those notorious nude shots.
Hoffinger points out that even in her testimony, Frey wondered whether she was "a magnet for wolves in sheep's clothing."
"I mean, Scott had to have red flags coming up," he says.
In fact, just weeks after Frey met Peterson, she discovered that he had lied about being married. But he had an explanation: "On Dec. 9, Scott went to Amber's home and began crying and telling her, 'I lost my wife and these will be the first holidays without her'," says Allred.
Frey finally discovered the truth about Peterson just after Christmas, when a friend told her he was on TV talking about his wife: "She's not dead; she's missing."
Police convinced Frey to secretly tape Peterson's phone calls. One of the first she taped was that New Year's message from Paris.
"Scott Peterson was weaving a tale out of a romantic novel," says Allred. "Of course, we know where he really was that day. There was vigil for his pregnant wife, Laci. Volunteers were out there searching for her. And what was Scott Peterson doing? He was on the telephone…with his girlfriend Amber."
Frey spent two weeks taping his calls before going public. Even after that, Peterson kept calling her. In all, there were more than 200 phone calls.
Police were hoping Peterson would confide in Frey and tell her what really happened to Laci. Allred said he came close, suggesting he had things to talk to her about when they met face-to-face.
Meanwhile the whole experience has taken its toll on Frey. In the courtroom as the tapes played, she began to cry.
"She was sitting next to me when she was sobbing," says Allred, "and I could feel the sobs coming from deep within her."
Her father says the romance between Peterson and Amber has never really ended.
"A part of Scott was great in her mind, Ron Frey says. "For that five-week window, that was her life, that was the greatest thing that ever happened in her life."NEXT: A Mock Jury Weighs The Evidence