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Authors: Akil Victor

The Watcher (3 page)

BOOK: The Watcher
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It felt like the moon, sun, and life rose, set, and flew by at the speed of light during the following five weeks.

Once TW placed signs up throughout the county in the various parks and establishments he did business at stating that he joined forces with Bella’s Oven, business exploded. He'd made changes to the advertising logo, which now included a couple of actual food items to go along with the lone cupcake. He also placed a chime over the door and a security system, including a series of cameras. The overhead menu grew to include his special dishes, desserts, and beverages. The biggest and best change came with their partnership, him convincing her to expand with his catering company in their shared name.

 

 

They were on their way to their first big catering job together, A wealthy Polish couple's wedding. He glanced over at the passenger seat, noticing how distant she had grown in the past few days. For the most part, she'd almost always had her guard up, allowing only fleeting moments and glimpses into her private life. However, the past couple of days seemed like her essence was surrounded by a fortress.

“Are you nervous?” He asked, watching as she pulled her gaze from the sights passed outside of her passenger side window.

“No,” She responded softly, “but I do have to talk to you when we get the opportunity.”

He nodded, knowing she didn't want to speak with their catering employees- his younger sibling, Chris and Ebony along with her sister Maria in the rear seats of the van.

The wedding took place at a private country club on the expansive outdoor patio. It was in full swing two hours into their stay. The couple was young and fell into the mold of current American culture so the DJ spun a lot of pop, hip hop, and R&B records. Couples and loose individuals of all ages, children to elderly, heated up the dance floor.

Their food was a big hit. They had to replenish three times in the current short period of service and were slated to stay two more hours to reach their quota. At request, they'd distributed all of the business cards they had on hand.

Isabel watched as Terrance entertained a small group of women around a serving table and knew he was in his element. She watched as his hands accentuated his words and not for the first time, noticed the muscular build under his well fitted shirt. A build that other women were noticing as well. That, his easy smile, Intelligence, and the way he carried himself would be a big draw for any woman. Especially Rachel, who whether he knew it or not was smitten with him. It would be a lie if Isa couldn’t admit that at times she felt something for him, however, their past and backgrounds didn’t, as she saw it, mesh. Yet, she knew that he was into her and the decision was whether or not to entertain it or put a permanent stop to it.

He caught her eye, between a woman touching his broad shoulder and speaking whatever her drunk mind produced, and curled his full-lips into a broad smile. She watched as he excused himself from the company of women whose eyes followed him to the pastries and beverage table at which she stood, and turn her back to him, busying herself with the baked goods presentation.

He stopped behind her, her alluring scent lightly reaching his nose within three feet. He paused, admiring how stunning she looked in a 70's style beige and blue swirl pattern dress that stopped two inches above her knees. He also admired her smooth legs and toned calves which lead down to beige flats with a two inch lift at the heel. Her hair was curly, and styled upwards with a clip. Wispy strands of silky hair rested on the delicate line of her neck. He moved a step closer, noticing how perfectly round and wide her heart shape ass was in contrast to the slenderness of her waist. He loved her amazing body and was tired of her not knowing it. He wanted to wrap his strong arms around her waist and lightly kiss her neck before moving his kisses up to her jawline. Letting her know how soft his lips were before their tongues intertwined. Yet, he knew she wasn’t ready for that or furthermore, was afraid.

He took his last step forward, placing his hand on her lower back and asked, “Are you enjoying this event?”

She smiled up at him and nodded, “Yes, I am. But Terrance I've been thinking about all of the roses and candy you’ve been sending me lately and-”

“Excuse me?” He inserted, dumbfounded.

“-And it needs to stop,” she went on to say.

He looked at her quizzically, “Isa, I haven’t sent you any roses or candy.”

“Terrance,” she sighed, “seriously, I know you’re my secret admirer,” she said while making air quotations at the end.

“My admiration for you is no secret. I'm feeling you and under the right circumstances, there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for you. But I didn’t send you any roses and gauging from your reaction, it wasn’t a bad idea not to. What I have given you or shared with you rather, is my ambition, drive, honesty, and sincerity. Anything beyond that is a gift and concerns matters of the heart.” He said while grabbing her small hand to place on his chest. Instantly feeling the electricity and chemistry before she slowly pulled away. She opened her mouth to speak but found no words and chose to nod instead.

When their successful day was over and evening lead to night, they loaded their utensils and serving dishes into the rear of the van. Terrance chose this time to remind her of their bet.

“You know you lost, right?” He stated as they made sure the last of the boxes were secure in the van.

“Excuse me?” She exclaimed.

“Our bet. You said that you wouldn’t have a good time and I bet you a go-cart date that you would.”

“Who said I had a good time?” She smiled, making her way to the passenger side.

“Right now, that smile. That and you admitted it earlier.” TW said, hearing his and her siblings speak their assent.

He opened the door and settled himself in, noticing a second later, her standing outside of her opened door staring down at her seat. A vase of blood-red roses were on the cushion. His brow wrinkled in confusion as he peered from the roses to her worried expression. He grabbed the vase, detaching the card that read:
Our wedding day will better than this.

He handed the card to her. Watching her read it before glancing around the dim parking lot at the many individuals and couples smiling and eagerly chatting. Enjoying this moment in their life as they headed for luxury sedans and SUVs. “The van doors were locked when we arrived earlier, right?” She asked, receiving nods all around.

 

 

They rode back in silence for the first half of their return trip. Isa waited until Chris, Ebony, and Maria had exited the vehicle before saying, “Around the time I arrested you and Andrew Solomon, six or seven years ago, there were two stalker cases with similar themes and patterns. We called them the Valentine’s stalker cases.”

She squinted and looked skyward as if trying to recall the information. “The girls reported being sent excessive roses, teddy bears, and expensive chocolates. They said after so many roses, the messages attached to them grew weirder and the roses would end up in frightening places they shouldn’t have been. Like, on a bedroom dresser when one of the victims woke up and on the bathroom sink counter when the other victim was showering.”

“Did they ever catch the alleged stalker?” He asked, rounding the corner of the street that lead to her house.

“No, it went cold. If I’m not mistaken… Either the night before, or same night you were arrested, our last victim, Maryann Thomas was chased not far from her home and assaulted before the perp ran away.”

“Nobody got a description?”

“No, it was dark and the suspect wore dark or black clothing is all Maryann could gather.”

TW parked in front of her house. A medium sized, pale yellow, single story home with a well-maintained lawn. He noticed Isabel's hesitation to leave the vehicle as he thought back on the night of his arrest. How that idiot Andrew Solomon had crashed into him at full speed, thus allowing then Detective Isabel Gonzalez to catch up to him before he could escape with $160,000 in cash he worked so hard to steal from the credit union.

“Invite me in, Isa,” he suggested before adding, “at least until your nerves settle a bit,” sensing her hesitation.

She nodded, exiting the van.

Terrance thought that whoever or whatever that idiot Andrew Solomon was had gotten him arrested alongside Terrance for a crime he didn’t commit. Isa opened the door. No one believed Solomon’s story of being out for a jog in all black, including gloves, and just happening to end up near the scene of a bank robbery along with another suspect carrying a bag of cash. Terrance made no attempt to exonerate him. For one: not to incriminate himself, and two: Had it not been for running into that fool he would have possibly escaped. Solomon’s attempt to plead with him back then had only got him an ass whooping. That is, in addition to the same six year sentence that Terrance received.

Isabel turned on the lights, revealing a cozy looking living room with an excessive amount of roses, and a pile of cushy teddy bears next to a stack of ten boxed chocolates.

“Y'know, I almost hoped it was you who sent me all of these gifts,” she said, directing him to sit on the brown suede couch in front o the coffee table that held eight of the fourteen vases of various color roses spread around the living room.

“It could be anybody,” he said.

Skepticism was etched on her face as she nodded in the negative. “Would you like something to drink? I have water, milk, tea, and wine.”

“Whatever you're having is fine.”

“Red wine it is,” she said, disappearing into the kitchen to return a moment later with a large bottle and two glasses. Placing them on the remaining portion of the table. “Help yourself,” she called over her shoulder before disappearing into one of the home’s two bedrooms.

He poured them both a glass, watching as she returned in a pair of royal blue, silk, pajamas that clung to every curve. His eyes lingered for a bit at the outline of ample breast under her top before he pulled his gaze away to hand her the glass of wine. She sat facing him Indian style on the couch with a small smile on her face before letting him know not to get any bright ideas.

After their second glass, they shared laughs about the evening's events. Namely the Polish grandmother doing the robot to Justin Beiber's 'as long as you love me' song. That and the overweight aunt who insisted on dancing with Terrance and wouldn’t stop smacking him on the butt. In turn, Terrance reminded her of that same aunt's overweight husband who crept up on her to hug her from behind. Which startled her to the point where she yelped and tossed a tray of hors d’oeuvres in the air. Which he caught on camera by the way. She cackled, sliding a bit closer to slap him on the chest as they giggled like school children after a practical prank.

“So,” she said as their laughter subsided, taking a sip from her third glass before asking, “How many places have you robbed?”

He chuckled, “What the fuck,” he said playfully. “Are you suspecting me of something again?”

“No,” she pushed him. “I'm just wondering.”

“Asking me that, is like asking…how many women have I slept with.”

She shrugged, “Okay, how many women have you slept with?”

“Umm, let’s see, 38, 70, 296,” he looked skyward, holding up his fingers to count off to her widening eyes. “Like, 769, yep.”

“Shut up,” she punched him in the arm lightly.

“You hit me again and I’m going to kiss you.”

She punched him again and tried to dash off the couch quickly when he grabbed her by the waist. She resisted, giggling, until his lips made contact with her cheek, once, then twice. She looked up at him, meeting the passion and desire in his eyes. He used a hand to smooth back her hair, to touch her cheek, raise her chin. She seen the need ad want etched on his handsome face and the protest she wanted to raise was lodged in her throat as his lips brushed hers sensuously before he pressed them on hers fully. Their lips melded together softly and tongues touched as he lifted her off the ground like she weighed nothing at all. She wrapped her legs around his waist letting out a small whimper as his hands squeezed and slightly spread apart her firm butt through the silk fabric of her pajamas.

Reluctantly, she pulled back, her arms around his neck as she gazed down into his half-lidded eyes.

“We can’t do this,” she whispered.

He kissed her chin, letting his tongue trail along her jawline.

“Terrance,” she hissed, “we can’t. Rachel.”

“What about her?” He asked, letting his words vibrate against her neck.

“She, uh, she's in love with you.”

He met her eyes, “But it’s you I want. I always have. I only took the job, our partnership, to get close to you. To show you that there is more to me than what meets the eyes.”

“I can’t,” she responded softly, still holding onto him.

“What are you afraid of? I know we’re from two different worlds but my soul has been calling for you. Outside of success, you are the only thing I think of, and since I want to be successful with you, you own those thoughts as well. Do you think about me?”

She nodded, her eyes downcast.

“Tell me you don't feel this chemistry.”

To this she looked at him, loosing her legs around his waist, allowing him to slowly slide her down; making sure that her pressed his generous length and thickness onto her softness before her feet touched the ground. “This is alcohol. I think we should…sober up.”

BOOK: The Watcher
4.16Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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