“Homicide? That’s like murder, right?” Tulip’s dumbass partner, Max, asked Detective Blu. She sighed heavily and nodded.
“Yes, that’s ‘like murder.'”
“Okay, well, do we have a suspect?” Tulip tapped her pencil on the desk impatiently.
“Only one. Out of all the people I questioned, there’s only one who could have a possible motive.” She explained.
“Who?” I asked, even though I was pretty sure I already knew the answer, and I knew I wouldn’t like it.
“Clover Lyn.” She cleared her throat and crossed her arms again.
I shot up out of my chair, sending it flying back. “You’re joking right? Clover has trouble opening a jar of pickles, she couldn’t possibly murder someone.” I was angry she was still suggesting this, it was absurd.
“I don’t joke, River. She has a motive, her alibi isn’t solid. She’s definitely a person of interest right now.”
“What do you mean her alibi isn’t solid? On the day Gardenia went missing Clover was at work.” She had been working that day, how is that not solid?
“It was a Saturday, she was the only one there that day. She said she came in to work on a few articles, but there’s no solid proof.”
“This is insane, Clover would never commit a crime like this.”
“I’m not here to argue with you, River. I’m giving you the facts. We can’t overlook this just because she’s your girlfriend. A woman is dead. It’s our job to find out who did this. We can’t overlook anything. Do you not want to find this person? Do you want this to happen again?” She balled her fists and gave me a glare that made me cringe.
“Of course not. I just think we’re barking up the wrong tree here. Are you sure we’ve looked at everyone? There has to be another possible suspect.”
“I will be questioning everyone again, but that includes Clover.”
“Alright, whatever gets this person found.” I sat back down and avoided everyone’s eyes but Detective Blu. I was a little embarrassed with my behavior, but I honestly didn’t think Clover was capable of this. There’s no way she could stab someone once, let alone repeatedly.
Detective Blu went on to give us the new details about the body and the murder. She told us that she had so many stab wounds to her chest it was impossible to count how many there were. Her neck was broken, but that happened post-mortem. Detective Blu thinks that the murderer stabbed her repeatedly and threw the corpse off a cliff and into the ocean, breaking her neck on the sea floor. She also told us there was no DNA evidence, since the body was in the ocean so long it was all long gone.
I knew this wasn’t going to be as easy as I originally thought.
When we were done discussing the case, I hung back to apologize to Detective Blu for losing my cool. She accepted my apology, and I felt a lot better as I left the backroom. Well at least until I reached the lobby.
“Oh c’mon Tulip, one date won’t hurt us.” Officer Freeman had his hand on her cheek, making her blush.
“Oh gosh Max, you know the rules. We’re not allowed to date our partners.” She was rejecting him, but the large smile plastered across her face told me she really didn’t want too.
“If the first date goes well, we can switch partners. It’s not that big of a deal.”
“Ugh, fine. But just one date!” She giggled.
Just the night before she was kissing me. I thought she had feelings for me. I was starting to have feelings for her too. Last night I stayed up trying to figure out how to break it off with Clover, so I could be with Tulip. I couldn’t believe I ever considered such a thing.
I needed to get out of there.
I ran out of HQ as fast as I could, I was lucky they didn’t notice me until I was already out the door.
The next morning, I took Clover and Tulip to HQ to be questioned again. I went first, then Tulip, and now we were waiting for Clover to finish. I knew it would take a while, and I wasn’t looking forward to sitting here alone with Tulip. Especially since Fern was working at the police station today instead of here, so we were completely alone.
“So, River. We kinda need to talk.” Tulip broke the silence between us first.
“What about?” I was mad, and I wanted to be difficult.
“You know what. The kiss. We need to talk about what this means for us.”
“Well it obviously meant more to me than it did to you.”
“What the hell is that supposed to mean?” She crossed her arms and glared at me.
“Well I didn’t go on a date with someone else afterwords.” I knew I wasn’t being fair but I didn’t really care.
“It didn’t even go well. How did you know about that?”
“I was in the hall when he asked.”
“Oh, so you were eavesdropping?” She teased.
“No, just passing through.” I smirked, feeling a lot better after learning the date went south.
“But seriously River, you’re gonna have to make a decision. It’s either me or Clover, I can’t keep going behind her back like that.”
“I understand, I just don’t want anyone to get hurt. I really want to be with you, but you know how Clover is. She screamed at Gardenia for even saying hi to me, what’s gonna happen to you if I break up with her for you?”
“So do you think Clover did this?” She nudged her head towards her sister’s office.
“I don’t know, the more I think about it the more it makes sense. But I wanna give her the benefit of the doubt.”
“Fair enough.” She jumped down from the counter and sat on the ground in front of me. “So, whose it gonna be?”
“You want me to decide right now?”
“I think we both know you made up your mind a while ago.” She said. She was right, I already made my decision, I just didn’t want to act on it just yet. I climbed off my chair and sat next to her on the floor.
“What’s gonna happen? I don’t trust her, we can’t trust her to be okay with this.” I voiced my concerns to Tulip. I really liked her and I didn’t want to put her life in danger.
“I don’t know what’s gonna happen. But it’ll work out in the end. I promise. She grabbed my hand off my knee and held it. “I’ll always be here for you, I’ve said that before and I’ll say it again because I really mean it. I’m willing to do whatever it takes to be with you.”
“Really?” I asked, I knew she liked me but I didn’t think she liked me that much.
I kissed her again. I couldn’t help myself. It didn’t matter that Clover was in the next room, and could come out of there at any second. I think that made it even more exciting. Kissing her was so much different from kissing Clover. I never wanted to stop.
“So River,” She pulled back slightly to talk to me. “Who do you choose?”
“As if it weren’t obvious, I pick you.” I kissed her quickly once more, before I pulled the both of us off the floor. “Now, let’s act natural. We don’t want anyone finding out before we’re ready.”
We both sat quietly, glancing at each other every once in a while. We were both trying to hide our smiles, this wasn’t exactly the time to be smiling.
“Alright, it looks like we’re done here. I’ll call you.” Detective Blu looked at the two of us with a concerned expression.
“C’mon babe, let’s go.” Clover demanded.
But she was out the door before I could even stand up.
“Well, good morning Mr. Lazy-pants. It’s one in the afternoon.” Tulip came in to wake me up, I had a late night that night.
“Hey, I’m not lazy. Just working hard. Speaking of work, why aren’t you there?”
“I took a sick day.” She smirked.
“Well then get that cute, pink butt over here.” I gestured to my bed and scooted over to make room for her.
She cuddled against me and laid her hand on my chest. Lying there with her felt so right, even though it was technically wrong.
“So, how are you gonna do this?” She asked.
“I don’t know. I can’t use the whole ‘we’re better off as friends’ bit, we’ve been dating five years and we live together.”
“Yea, it’s a tricky situation. When are you gonna do it?”
“Today. I can’t keep pushing it back. I don’t want her to think this is going somewhere when it’s not.”
“You’re such a great guy, River. I feel bad about taking that away from her.” She sighed, her voice sounded like she was about to cry so I soothed her.
“Shh, don’t cry. You’re not taking anything away from anyone. It’s not working for me, even if I didn’t have you it wouldn’t work.” That calmed her down.
“Okay. I think I’ll be out when you do it though.”
“I think that’ll be best. Maybe you can take Maple with you. I don’t want him to have to hear that.”
“Mkay, I’ll take him to the club, he’s been begging me to go.” We laughed, he was very persistent when it came to clubbing.
“Sounds great.” I said. I kissed her forehead softly. “I promise it’s all gonna work out.”
“But what about after? She’s still going to be living here, we can’t date with her around.”
“I dated her for years in secret, I think we can manage dating in secret for a few months before our lease ends and she moves out.” I assured her. She didn’t say anything, she just smiled.
I rolled her over on top of me. “It’s not so bad dating in secret, it actually makes it even more interesting.”
“Sounds sexy.” She mocked. I fake scowled at her, and started to tickle her. “Ahh, River stop, stop!” She yelled through her giggles. I stopped when I was on top of her.
“See? This is fun.” I scooped her up in my arms and kissed her.
“I wish everyday could be like this.” she pulled back slightly.
“Soon, I promise.” Our eyes met for a few intense seconds, before she rolled off the bed and ran out of my room.
“Put on something comfortable, I’m about to kick your ass.” She said, and took off down the stairs. I couldn’t help but laugh, she sure knew how to ruin a moment.
A few minutes later Tulip and I were in a full-on battle. The two of us were extremely competitive, and it was showing. We were both trash talking, throwing candy, tickle wars, you name it. It was the most fun I’ve had in a really long time. I couldn’t wait until this was an everyday thing.
After a few hours of constant video games, Clover came home. I felt Tulip tense up beside me, Clover was home a few hours early and Maple wasn’t home yet so she couldn’t leave.
“Hey Clover, you’re home early.”
“Yea, I’ve got a headache. The boss sent me home early. I’ll be upstairs working on an article if you need me.” She didn’t look like she was in pain, but I didn’t want to make any assumptions.
“You’re not gonna do it right now, right?” Tulip worried.
“Of course not, I’ll wait until Maple gets home.” She smiled, and we continued our game.
“What the hell? How are you beating me? I’ve been playing since I was five!” I cried, no one has ever beaten me at this game, except Dill. He’s the one who taught me how to play, but other than him I’m undefeated.
“Natural talent, I guess.”
“Ugh, you suck.” I grumbled. I was a bit of a sore loser.
“No, I think you’re the one who sucks.” She joked, and I playfully punched her on the shoulder.
“Hey guys, mind if I join?” Maple came walking in a few minutes after we started another game.
“Oh, I was gonna ask if you wanted to go out tonight.” Clover said, making his face light up.
“You mean like a club?” He asked, and she nodded. “Well then go put on that dress I bought you!”
“Mkay.” She put down her controller and bounded up the stairs.
When she came back down, I was in awe. She looked gorgeous in her dress, almost like an angel.
“Damn girl. You look hot.” Maple gushed from the kitchen.
“Wow, you look gorgeous.” I looked away from her, I didn’t want to seem suspicious in front of Maple.
“Thanks River.” She grabbed my hands. “Good luck, call me if things get bad, I’ll be here as fast as I can.”
“Thanks, I think I can handle this. Have fun tonight.”
“Oh I will.” She winked.
“Aye, not too much fun.” I said, making her laugh.
“Bye River.” Both her and Maple called as they left the house, leaving me alone with Clover. I took a deep breath and prepared myself.
This was not going to be easy.