The morning starts off with a jog and a question needing to be answering then Willow is questioned by detectives.
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Willow Carter was a new woman. It was several days into a bitter December, but she felt like she was the epitome of blossoming spring. The snow had come in an expected heaviness, drenching the city with powdery whiteness. She admired the wintry scenery bathed in the last lingering moments of the crescent moon’s glow as she walked along the park’s winding path with a significant pep in her step. If someone had measured how much pep was in her step, it would weigh in the metric tons. She wore a red OSU beanie, a thick lime green hoodie, black jogging pants, thick red socks, and her regular running shoes. Black jogging gloves were on her hands. Physically, she was covered from head to toe in an overwhelming warmth. Internally, she beamed and shined like the sun on a hot July day.
Why was she this way?
She stood up to Farrah—and by proxy their mother—about the unnecessary drama surrounding the maid of honor dress and her inability to lose enough weight quick enough to fit into an preferred size of ten. She gave Farrah—and by proxy their mother—an ultimatum about accepting her weight and finding a dress that will fit her or do without her as a part of the wedding party.
Of course, Willow wouldn’t miss her sister’s wedding for the world. She wasn’t an insensitive heartless bitch. She loved Farrah with all of her heart, but she decided that if Farrah would not budge about the size ten dress then Willow support her during her day as a guest of the wedding.
Aside from that, her relationship with Sebastian was going really, really, really good. In her mind, she wanted to consider herself as his girlfriend, but they still hadn’t quite talked it yet. However, they had both made it known to each other that they weren’t going anywhere any time soon and she wondered maybe she didn’t need a title nor did he. The promise of commitment they presented to each other in their ways was enough.
Yes, it was just enough … for now.
It still bothered her that she didn’t know much about him even though she introduced him to her immediate family and her closest friends. He knew the mechanics of her job. He knew where she worked. He knew practically everything about her. Every time she attempted to pry something out of him, he would always do something to pry a moan out of her and make her forget how to speak and breathe. Sometimes, he made her forget her name.
She stiffened as she heard a familiar thumping of shoes running against the pavement. She looked over her shoulder and saw a hoodied figure with dark jogging pants and similarly dark gym shoes moving in her direction. She returned her attention to the winding path in front of her and tried her absolute hardest not to grin like a complete idiot.
She felt like a schoolgirl about to pass by her crush in the hallway. In moments of that fleeting thought, he did pass by her as he jogged before he stopped a few feet ahead of her and turned around to face her.
Willow took her time as she walked up to him.
“You’re making it a habit to start without me,” he said. She heard the amusement in his voice.
She grinned as she wrapped her arms around his neck and rose to the tips of her toes to place a soft kiss on his lips. “I needed a headstart. It’s hard keeping up with you,” she paused, “in more ways than one.”
“Which one is your favorite,” he asked, pulling her close against him.
“Which one is yours,” she countered teasingly, admiring the way his nose and cheeks were tinted a soft reddish pink due to the cold weather as they stood directly under an illuminated light pole.
He leaned down and brushed his lips against her ear. “I can’t decide between the one where I take you into that patch of woods over there and fuck you while you hold onto a tree like you did your bedpost or where you show me how well you ride a stick in the backseat of your car. Which one would you prefer?”
Willow squeezed her eyes shut and parted her cold lips, letting his words burn her. Words she was going to use to answer his proposed question died her throat and was replaced with a groan as she felt his warm tongue flicker against her earlobe.
Oh, she hated him sometimes.
He knew how to get her worked up—more worked up than actually jogging or walking through this damned park. One late night in her bed during post-coital relaxation, he discovered a particular “spot” on her body by chance as his lips wandered and decided to use it as a weapon ever since.
He pulled her earlobe into his mouth and suckled on it for a moment.
“Stop it,” she whimpered unconvincingly. He released her earlobe and blew a trail of hot breath onto it, not obeying her request to leave her ears alone completely. Goosebumps spread across her brown flesh like a wildfire.
“I have work soon,” she breathed.
“Work can wait. One of these early mornings my cum’s gonna drip down the inside of your thighs. I want you to go home, climb into your shower, and think about me and how I make you feel as you’re washing yourself clean. I’d bet you’d rub your hard little clit in the shower until you’d cum, wouldn’t you? Answer that question and I’ll let you go.”
Willow nodded her head but said nothing. His words struck a tightly wounded cord inside of her that sent vibrations of arousal straight to her pussy.
“That’s not answering my question, Willow.”
“Yes,” she answered finally. “I would.”
“Is your clit hard right now thinking about it? Is it begging for some attention,” he whispered in her ear.
It took all of her strength to pull herself away from him. “You said I had to answer one question. I guess you have to use your own imagination for the second one. Now go finish your run,” she ordered, mustering up everything she had in her to be convincingly authoritative. His green eyes twinkled with mischief. Willow gave herself a mental pat on the back as he resumed his early morning jogging, distancing himself from her in effective strides.
She decided to jog as well in her own way—sloppy and a little choppy.
It took about eleven minutes to get back to the parking lot. Those eleven minutes consisted of nine minutes of jogging and two minutes of walking the rest of the way. When she reached her dark blue SUV, she unzipped her hoodie, reached past her long-sleeved shirt, and into her sports bra to retrieve her singular car key as usual.
She unlocked the car door in moments with a click of a button and as she began to open the door, she noticed a swiftly advancing figure in the tinted window’s reflection. Before she could even reaction, a hard body pressed against her. She widened her eyes in absolute surprise.
“Bend over,” Sebastian ordered from behind and pressed his hand onto her back and pushed her downward, bending her chest and torso over the front driver's seat. Willow dug her fingernails into the fabric of her car seat as she felt his cold fingers slide into her jogging pants and panties, carefully sandwiching her clit in between his index finger and thumb. Gently, he moved glided the hood of her clit up and down.
Her eyes rolled into the back of her head.
Later that morning, Willow was in the process of making flyers for a steadily approaching annual Christmas adoption event known as Santa Paws’ Friends when she received a text message from Darlene. Her cellphone lit up and buzzed on her desk near a framed picture of her, Emily, Peyton, and Lydia having a girl’s day at the beach during the summer before their senior year of highschool. Emily was wearing a green and white polka dot bikini with bug-eyed sunglasses. Peyton was wearing a dark purple halter one-piece swimsuit with her hot pink sunglasses propped on top of her head. Lydia was wearing a bright green halter top with matching swim-bottom designed in a boy-shorts style and a floppy white and orange beach hat. Willow was wearing an extra-extra-large red men’s shirt and black men’s swim shorts. She remembered how disappointed her friends were at first that she didn’t wear this nice plus-size swimsuit her mother had bought her for that particular day. Back then, she was insecure about her body. She was insecure about how people would compare her body to her best friends’ slender swimsuit-perfect bodies. However, it was an unforgettable day.
She smiled at the memory.
Her cellphone buzzed once more, which returned her attention back to it. She picked up the phone and looked at the sent text message. It read: The police are here.
Willow lifted a delicate eyebrow at the message and tilted her head to the side. In return, she texted back: Where?
A few moments later, an incoming text message from Darlene arrived. Her reply said: They are in Boss-Man’s office.
“Boss-Man” was George Tyson, the founder and CEO of Paws and Protect. He began the company nearly two decades ago. Years prior, his daughter, Sarah, was raped by someone she knew and trusted. The horrible event drove the utterly traumatized girl to her eventual suicide. No one knew about it until it was revealed in her suicide note because she feared no one would believe the truth and in doing so, she felt unprotected and helpless.
She was a lover of dogs and was often a “foster mother” to dogs rescued from kill shelters, training them to be suitable for adoptions at a no-kill shelter she worked at. The idea of Paws and Protect sprouted from her death. George wanted to ensure that rape and abuse victims felt protected at all times. He was a wonderful man and a great person to work under. He respected all of his employees and always gave them freedom to do what needed to be done for the best of the company.
Darlene: Brooke says it has something to do with Simon.
Willow blinked her eyes at the message.
Willow: I thought Simon was on vacation? He text George and told him so.
Darlene: I thought so too, but word is they found his car abandoned somewhere or something.
She widened her eyes slowly.
Darlene: They’re out now!
Willow rolled her computer chair towards the mouth of her cubicle and leaned over slightly, peeking her head out to watch two detectives walk out of the office with a worried George in tow.
“As I said, you have the absolute full cooperation of the company. Feel free to stay as long as you need to and I am sure no one will have a problem with answering your questions,” George said.
A pepper-haired white man who appeared to be in his fifties nodded his head slowly. “We appreciate your cooperation in a case such as this.”
A case such as this? What in the hell did that mean? A prickle of worry sprouted inside of her for a moment of Simon’s well-being. Was he okay? Willow situated herself back into her cubicle and looked back at her cellphone. She thought about texting Darlene back, but she didn’t even know what to say. She chewed on her bottom lip and placed the cellphone back in its original place by the framed picture of the memorable beach day with her highschool girlfriends.
She resumed her project of the holiday adoption flyers with a troubled mind.
It was close to her lunch time when the detectives came to her cubicle. Well, at least one of them came to her cubicle. He was the younger of the two detectives who appeared to be in his mid-thirties at best. He had short dark brown hair and a mustache. He was shorter than his colleague but athletic in stature.
“Could we spare a few moments of your time,” he questioned.
Willow blinked for a moment before smiling, her heart racing in her chest. “Sure, absolutely.”
She rose from her computer chair and followed the detective into the boardroom. “Please, have a seat,” the older gray-haired detective said kindly, gesturing towards a nearby chair close to him as opposed to the ten other chairs that surrounded the table.
She nodded her head with a weak smile and pulled out a chair, sitting down. “Is everything alright,” she asked.
“That’s our job to find out,” the older detective said. “I’m sure you’ve heard bits and pieces about why we’re here today.”
“In the passing, but I don’t pay attention to office gossip much. It gets watered down like brandy on the rocks sitting out too long,” Willow replied.
Both detectives smiled at her words. “Never heard of it like that before,” the younger detective chuckled.
“I like to put my own twist on things,” Willow smiled back.
“When was the last time you saw or spoke with Simon Roberson,” the older detective questioned.
“A few nights ago, we both went to a club downtown called Glow.”
The detective’s eyebrows shot upward for a moment before he scribbled down the information. “Together?”
New information that they hadn’t know before. Willow shook her head, tapping her foot nervously under the table. “No, we bumped into each other on the dance floor.”
“Who was he with?”
She wanted to say that he was with a tribe of assholes, but she didn’t want to paint him or his friends in a rude light.
“He told me he was at a bachelor party with some of his buddies from college,” she answered. “I was invited to my best friend’s cousin’s birthday party.”
“How did he seem?”
Willow cocked her head to the side with a thoughtful expression on her face. “He seemed … like he was having a good time at the bachelor party. Then again, I’m only going off of how he was when I bumped into him on the dance floor.”
“Did you see him after that?”
Yes, I threw a drink in his face for helping crown me the pig, she thought.
“No,” she lied. “Someone tried to take advantage of me on the dance floor not too long after and I got really upset, so I left the club early.”
The younger detective frowned. “I’m sorry that happened to you.”
Emotions of that night hit her like a ton of bricks, pressing hard into her chest. Her eyes began to sting as salty tears bubbled up, threatening to fall. Willow folded her hands on the meeting table and nodded her head slowly. “Me too,” she paused for a moment.
“Is Simon alright? Did something happen to him while he was on vacation?”
The two detectives looked at each other. “At this moment in time, Mr. Roberson is being declared as a missing person.”
Willow’s breath hitched in her throat. “Are you sure?”
“We are unsure as to whether or not he truly went on vacation in the first place. He has not made contact with any of his family members or his girlfriend within these last few days,” the older detective said.
“I see,” she said softly.
The younger detective said, “It has been made known to us by Mr. Roberson’s girlfriend that you two know each other outside of the workplace.”
Willow blinked. “Well, yes. Our families run in the same social circles and our mothers are very close friends. I’ve known Simon for a long time.”
“Did Mr. Roberson ever mention any problems he faced that could potentially cause him danger or harm,” the older detective questioned.
She shook her head slowly. “No. He never talked about anything like that to me. Occasionally, he would come to me for womanly advice about how to deal with his girlfriends.”
“Did he ever mention any girlfriends who were having ex-boyfriend troubles?”
“I think Cara has an ex-boyfriend that got out of prison recently. She moved two states over because he couldn’t take a hint and she wanted a clean start,” Willow said, “but I didn’t heard that from Simon himself. It’s common knowledge in the office because Cara said it.”
The detective glanced down to his small yellow pad and flipped back a few pages, scanning his aging eyes over the scribbled down notes. He nodded his head once and raised his bushy eyebrows slightly to confirm that he had found the information.
“Alright, I think that will be all,” the older detective stated.
Willow rose slowly from the chair feeling very queasy. The younger detective reached into his suit’s jacket pocket to retrieve a contact card. “If you have any details that you remember, please give us a call.”
“Of course,” she said as she took the card from the man’s hand. “Thank you.”
Willow and Darlene decided to meet at their favorite restaurant for lunch. It was a popular café with great selection of cold sandwiches and salads. It was similar to Starbucks but it was mom-and-pop owned and did not disappoint. “What in the hell is going on, Dar,” Willow said as she plopped down on the opposite side of a two-man table situated in the middle of the bustling restaurant.
“Girl,” Darlene breathed out, widening her eyes to emphasis that she had exclusive dirt—very bad exclusive dirt. “I’ve heard some things.”
A question burned in her throat and had been burning there since she left those two detectives behind in the company boardroom. “Where is Simon?”
“Okay, here’s what I know. A few ago, Simon texted George saying he needed some vacation days,” Darlene began.
Willow nodded her head. “I know that part. Everyone knows that part.”
“However, his parents and Cara have been trying to get a hold of him nonstop for days because he didn’t tell them that he was going on a little vacation, but his phone just kept going to straight to voicemail. His parents filed a missing person’s report, but they said there wasn’t really anything they could do,” Darlene continued, “because he’s a grown man and all who can disappear off the face of the earth if he wants to. However, his parents know some powerful people in the city, so they said that they’d take a look into it. And Cara told Eliza that his mom told her that they found out he used his debit card—you know the one that is connected to his monthly allowance—to buy an air ticket to the Bahamas. Then…”
Darlene looked terribly pale as she opened her mouth to utter the next set of words. “Two days ago, some guy and his friends were hunting in the woods a few towns over and found Simon’s car wrapped around a tree and burned to a crisp. The police aren’t releasing that information, but his parents told Cara and Cara told Eliza, who turn told me. Everyone is freaking the fuck out and rightfully so.”
Willow slowly widened her eyes and her heart stopped beating in her chest. “Are you serious?”
“As a heart attack.”
“Do you think he’s,” she stopped herself from finishing the sentence. She couldn’t finish it—not without throwing up.
Darlene bit down onto her bottom lip for a moment. “It’s not looking good. Michael from tech support said the detectives are both in homicide. They were assigned to his friend’s murder two years ago.”
Simon was a terrible person, but if they are looking at this was a homicide and not a missing person’s case like they were masquerading it out to be then … Willow felt guilty about what happened at Glow.
She felt guilty that her last moments with him were filled with tears and hate.
She felt guilty that her last moments with him were filled with realizing the true Simon Roberson—who pretended to be a great guy—was rotten and terrible on the inside.
Willow prayed he was okay.
This is a brand new chapter. I felt like in the orginial story, the plot about Simon's death was very short and brief. I think this is the perfect opportunity to explore the characters more in-depth. It is a perfect time to truly define Willow's and Sebastian's relationship from an emotional aspect and stray away from the one where they use sex to tell each other how they feel. It also will force Willow to demand answers from Sebastian even if she doesn't know the role he plays in Simon's death.