This case became my top priority, even after what happened last night. Right now my main priority was finding Gardenia and getting her home safely.
Besides, we were both exhausted last night. Neither of us knew what we were doing, so it probably meant nothing. Everything I said last night wasn’t thought through well. I did love Clover, I guess we were just growing apart. But I think I know how to fix it.
“You texted me, what’s up?” Clover came into my room and leaned against my dresser.
“I did. I’m ready, Babe.” I told her, and moved all my stuff off the bed and onto the floor.
“W-what do you mean?” She cocked an eyebrow at me.
“I think you know exactly what I mean.” I smirked and jumped off my bed. I wanted to prove to her that I loved her, and maybe this would help us get closer.
“Babe are you sure?”
“I’m sure that I love you.” I wrapped my arms around her waist and kissed her. It wasn’t entirely truthful yet, but I’m sure it will be once the deed is done. I mean, everyone says sex brings you closer, right?
“I love you too.” She beamed, she’s been asking for this for a while now. I picked her up and carried her over to the side of my bed.
“Babe, are you really sure?” She asked me again. I responded by kissing her chest, up to her neck, then finally stopping at her lips.
“I love you, Clover.”
“I love you too, River.”
And well, you can guess what happened next.
“Wow. That was amazing.” Clover curled up next to me later on. I grunted in response, earning myself a soft kick to the shin.
Honestly, I thought all my problems were gonna be solved by doing that with her. But it didn’t. At all. It made things worse, actually. I did love Clover. But I don’t love her in the way I thought I did. I didn’t love her like I was supposed to.
“We should do that more often.” She giggled. I nodded and kissed her forehead.
I knew I needed to break up with her, but we were living in the same house for a year, it’d be impossible to avoid her. Also her mood swings, I can barely handle it when I’m with her, how would she react if I tried to leave her.
I was in a very sticky situation.
“All she’s gonna do is ask you some questions, then we can go home, okay?” I led Clover out to the truck, I was taking her to meet with Detective Blu so she could get questioned.
“Okay. It won’t take too long, right?” She groaned.
“Don’t think so.” I held the car door open for her and we drove off.
“Hey Fern.” I greeted my half-sister when we entered the headquarters. There was no one else there, as usual.
“You can just go right in.” Fern directed, never looking up from her typing.
“I’ll try to wait for you, but I’m meeting with a client soon and I might have to leave. But if I do, Fern said she can give you a ride home.” I told Clover, and gave her hand a little squeeze.
“I’ll see you later, love.” She walked out of the room and into Detective Blu’s office.
I brought a random book from Clover’s collection with me, I didn’t know how long I’d be waiting out here for. Detective Blu suspected Clover was involved in the disappearance of Gardenia. I was slightly offended she would even think of such things, but I guess she did have her reasons. But still, Clover couldn’t even hurt a fly, let alone a grown woman.
“You’ve got a lot on you’re mind.” Fern startled me, I hadn’t even realized she was next to me. I had been here for quite some time now, and I was getting really into this book.
“How did you know that?”
“I know a lot of things, dear brother. Now, what’s bothering you?” I didn’t want to talk about this, not with Clover in the building.
“Gardenia is missing, that’s what’s bothering me.” That was the main thing, so it wasn’t really a lie.
“You and I both know that’s not what I’m asking.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Fine, I can tell you don’t wanna talk about it. But I’m still gonna give you advice. Remember what I said to you that night we first met. I really mean it, River.” She sighed, and I tried to remember what she told me that night.
‘Be careful with Clover.’
I remember her saying that, and I thought about it a lot for the first few months afterwords. It still gave me the chills, how could she have known we were dating when we were so careful? It didn’t make sense then, and it still didn’t make much sense now.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. Everything is fine.”
“Whatever you say.” She giggled. Her cell phone buzzed, and she gasped. “Oh gosh, it’s already five, don’t you have a client?”
“I do. Thanks for reminding me. You can drive her home, right?”
“Of course. Good luck brother, with everything.” She chuckled.
I grabbed my book and my keys and left the headquarters thinking about everything but my job.
“Hey Kiddo, come on in.” My uncle ushered Clover and I inside my parents house. I decided to stop by and see them, I was really stressed and seeing them might do me some good.
“Hey Mom.” I came in and she jumped off the floor and attacked me.
“Oh River sweetie its so great to see you.” She said. Clover took a seat next to Dad and they started to chat.
“Oh, who’s this?” I asked, noticing the toddler playing on the floor.
“River, this is Aster. He’s your nephew.”
“Oh Dill had a kid? Why didn’t he tell me I mean I know he’s busy but-” I started to say but my mom shook her head.
“No, this is Poppy’s son.”
“Well hey there little guy.” I took a seat on the floor in front of his toy box. He ignored me and tried to shove the cylinder block in the triangle slot.
“Hey, I think it goes in this one.” I offered, and he gave me a death glare. I didn’t even know babies could give death glares.
I glanced at my mom and she shrugged. “He’s a little hostile.”
“He gets that from his Mom.” Dad joked, making us all laugh.
“Ugh, I thought I heard your voice.” My little sister came out from the bathroom with a scowl on her face.
“Nice to see you too, Poppy.” I smirked, making her even angrier.
“I’m too hungover for your shit today. I’m going to bed, don’t piss off my son.” My mom sighed, making Poppy roll her eyes.
Poppy stomped up the stairs and slammed her door.
“She’s been going out every night, getting piss drunk. Dad and I are getting tired of it, so we’ve given her an ultimatum. She has one more month to get sober or we’re kicking her out and taking custody of Aster.”
“Are you guys sure you want to raise another kid? I mean you’ve already had four. What about his father?”
“He’s worse than she is. That’s how they met, both got piss drunk and ended up sleeping together. She’s dating some other loser right now and his father doesn’t wanna be in his life. I can’t understand why, he’s adorable.” She smiled sadly and pet his head softly.
“Oh. Well I hope it works out.”
“Thanks kiddo. How are you? How’s work?” Mom and I didn’t talk often, but she did know I was working on the missing person case.
“It’s going okay. We don’t have any new leads as far as I know.” I said, and Aster threw his block down on the carpet angrily and started to cry. “Oh god, did I do something?”
“Of course not, he’s just hungry.” She picked him up off the floor and gestured for me to stand too.
“Oh sweetheart, I hope everything works out. I’ve been following this on the news, it’s so strange, how someone can just disappear.”
“Yea, it is pretty weird.”
“Have you tried talking to her spirit?”
“I have, either she’s not dead or she’s hiding until the body is found. I’m hoping for the former.”
“I think we all are. Have you spoken to Flora?” She asked, and Aster started to get fussy again.
“Hold on sweetie, Gamma’s gonna get you a bottle in a sec.” She tickled the baby, making him scream with delight. “Anyway, have you?”
“I have, but she couldn’t give me anything useful.” I had to lie a little, I wasn’t supposed to give out a lot of details.
“Yea, they usually can’t.” She rolled her eyes “Darn spirits. It’d make life so much easier.” We both laughed, but stopped when my phone started to ring.
“I gotta get this.” I gestured to my phone. She nodded and headed to the kitchen to get Aster something to eat.
I barely got a ‘hello’ out of my mouth before she started to speak. “River Fae, it’s Detective Blu, we’ve found Gardenia.”