Later that night Cole and Isaac took me back to Erin’s house with the promise of getting me in the morning. I had to promise to stay put and call Cole if anything happened or if I got any more texts from Ashley or Tyler.
I really didn’t like being told to stay put and not having access to my car, but I could see how hard all of this is on Cole. he's feeling so helpless.
He doesn’t know I heard the conversation he had with his dad and I won’t tell him. I must admit I was surprised he didn’t want out; I really would not have blamed him if he had.
My dramatic life is too much for anyone to handle and he has already been through so much. I wonder if he is right though. Will we be able to come out of this stronger and unbroken? I highly doubt it but then again who really knows what we are capable of.
Erin was waiting for me in the family room since it was after nine and her parents had already gone to bed. Josh was asleep in the guest room and everything was quiet.
When I walked into the living room Erin was typing something on her phone. When she saw me come in she hurried and shut it down. Erin then stared up at me with distressed green eyes.
“What’s going on, Erin?” I asked and she glances down at the floor, evading the question. I’m starting to worry something I’m not going to like is going on. “Erin, please tell me what’s going on,”
“I… I don’t know if I should, Willow. I don’t know how you will react to it.” She laments softly. "Cole agrees with me."
“Just spit it out, Erin, and what does Cole have to do with this?” I was getting upset now.
“He just texted me and made me promise not to show you the text he got. He sent it to me but I can’t show it to you, Willow.” She looked down at the floor again and tears starting falling down her beautiful pale face.
“If this involves me I have the right to know and you shouldn’t be making secret promises with my boyfriend, Erin,” I say loudly. “Please just show me!”
“Okay, you're right but don’t say I didn’t try to protect you. I know you are strong Willow and can deal with most things but I'm not sure you can this." She hands me the phone and pushes play.
At first I don’t see anything but a house and a bunch of kids at a party, some are drunk and others are making out. I don’t get what this is and then the camera zooms in on an average looking blond girl sitting on the couch.
She's obviously not happy about being there. Her arms are folded across her chest with and one leg is draped over the other swinging wildly. If she were to swing her leg any faster or further she's likely to kick the next person to walk by her.
Her blond brows are knitted with her blue eyes glaring at someone across the room, and her mouth is set in a hard line. All signs showing she is really pissed off.
I realized this is me and it was that party Ashley Dragged me to. The one where Tyler drugged me and well...you know. A handsome guy with sandy blond hair and green eyes walks over to me, he sits down and hands me a drink.
He says it's just soda but from what I can see on the video I don't seem too convinced. He assures me it is and I'm not sure what made me believe him but I take a sip.
The second I take a drink my eyes go wide and my mouth puckers up. I pull the drink away and cough. So I'm guessing it was either not soda or it was spiked. I can't really remember.
Within minutes I start to feel dizzy and a weird feeling overcomes me. The boy who says his name is Drew starts to play with my hair and roams his eyes over my body. He leans in to kiss me but I pull away and try to get off the couch but the second I stand up a wave of dizziness hits me.
I try to walk away but he grabs my wrist and pulls me back down on the couch. "Please let me go," I beg as Drew pushes me further and further into the couch.
"I can't do that Willow." His hand slides up my shirt and I feel cringy at the unfamiliar sensation. His softly runs his fingers around my stomach, he makes a sound, almost sounds like a purr or a hum. I couldn't tell. He continues his assault on my skin with his fingers but stops when he gets to my bra.
"I'm not allowed to go any further with you because you are his but oh how I want you." He purrs with a husky voice.
My heart rate picks up and I feel like I'm going to pass out but I can't do that. Who knows what this creep will do to me if I'm not conscience. I bring my knee up and get him in the baby maker and he falls over with a painful grunt.
I finally get away from Drew but with this crazy dizzy spell, I'm not fast. He recovers quickly so as I try to run towards the door I feel strong arms wrap around my waist and lift me up. He moves his mouth to my ear and says,
"You're are going to be perfect for him, he loves it when they fight back. However, tonight you won't get that chance, he likes the first time to be slow and romantic. He needs you to be calm and submissive."
First time? Submissive? I'm going to pretend like I don't know what he's talking about to save myself from having a freak-out moment here. I may be naive and shy but I won't allow myself to fall victim to whatever this weirdo has planned for me. Yet, I don't know how I'm going to get out of it.
I don't know what he really even means by all the shit he's been spewing. Yet, I can tell by the underlining tone in his voice that whatever it is isn't going nice; It's dangerous.
My hands start shaking and my heart starts racing. In fact, I can feel my whole body trembling in fear. I scream out for help but his large hand slams over my mouth. I'm confused as to why nobody is coming to help me, this is a huge crowd so someone is bound to see me pinned up against the wall with Drew pressed up against me.
Oh of course not, it is a party after all. Everyone is drunk and hooked up with someone, so they either don't care or just assume I'm doing some weird kinky shit with him.
I realize my hope for rescue is out. I'm going to have to fight my way out of this myself. I don't know how I'm still able to be alert when I begin to figure out why my body feels out of sorts and dizzy.
Drew spiked my drink with something to knock me out. However, whatever it was wasn't very potent if it's taken this long. I wiggle my body in his arms, hoping to get him to break his hold on me.
His hand is still covering my mouth and what I'm about to do makes me hold back a gag. I stick my tongue out and lick his hand. It was so disgusting but I had to do it because he pulled his hand away.
Once his hand is away I still struggle to get away but his hold on me is too tight. The more I fight him the harder he squeezes and my fear rises. He's got me in a hold so tight he's cutting off my air, black spots start appearing which means my vision is fading. I know I'm losing my sense of awareness and this frightens me even more. I'm pretty sure he's doing this on purpose.
His low and arrogant voice taunts me with his next words, "He's going to love this because it's even better when you show him fear. He feds and thrives off fear; it gives him more control. Be afraid Darling, it will be so much better for you."
Before I can reply everything goes black.
He carries me up the stairs and it goes blank. Then a little while later the picture comes back up and I am in a bed competley naked but a blanket was spread over me, still unconscious.
A different boy who I now recognize as Tyler is laying there next to me. He is wiping the hair away from my face placing kisses all over my face and body. I want to throw up just watching and knowing what is going to happen, and what I'm pretty sure already did happen. I almost turn it off before he starts talking to me.
He tells me how beautiful I am and how happy he is when I’m with him. He tells me how much he loves me and how being intimate is so magical and he can’t wait till we can do it again. He goes back to placing kisses all over my body again and then he lies on top of me and the video goes black.
I feel sick, Sarah's lasagna starts rising in my throat. I rush to the bathroom and let go of everything. In between bouts of throwing up, I was curled on the floor in the fetal position. The tears and the shaking wouldn’t go away.
I don’t know how long I had lain on the bathroom floor before Erin came in and pressed a cold cloth on my forehead. “We didn’t want to show you this because we knew this would happen."
"I could barely stomach watching what he did to you, Willow. As for Cole, well who only knows what he was thinking but I can only imagine that boy wants to murder Tyler.” I sat up and pulled my knees to my chest wrapping my arms around my legs and rocked.
“I don’t know how I know I was raped. I guess it was just a feeling I had but honestly didn’t want to believe it. That’s why I wanted to put it away and forget about it. Plus I could never go anywhere with it based on gut instinct,” I explain.
“Having the evidence which is on that video just made this real for me and I don’t think I can ever get those images out of my head. I don’t know how to move forward with my life now.”
“I can’t begin to understand what you are going through, but I do know that you can move forward. It may take time and I know once he is locked up you can begin to heal since he won’t be bothering you anymore. When you talk to the police tomorrow you need to be honest about everything, including Ashley,” Erin encourages.
“Right now you need to clean yourself up and get some sleep. I know this isn’t easy, Willow, and you know I’m right here for you. You can get through this because you are one of the strongest girls I have ever met.” She kneeled down and gave me a hug and left the bathroom.
I picked myself up off the floor and followed Erin up to her room where she had some of her pajama’s set out for me. I took them and the new toothbrush and went to the bathroom. I needed to go to my parents and get my clothes and Josh’s things, especially since we have school on Monday.
I had been lucky that Erin was willing to loan me some of her clothes. Just the thought of having to face my parents was enough to drive me bat shit crazy and on top of what I just watched. I don’t know if I have the strength to deal with them right now. I decided I would just face one thing at a time and go from there.
Sleep had not come easy that night. Every time I would close my eyes the video and the memory of Drew's assault would just play over and over in my mind. When I would fall asleep it was short lived because I would wake up in tears and sweat.
I felt like I had just fallen asleep when Erin came and told me Cole and his dad were here. I slowly pushed off the blankets and forced myself to sit up; my body feels like it has been through a beating.
“Where is Josh?” I feel like I have abandoned him, I really haven’t done anything with him since Friday night. The guilt started to swallow me whole but I had to shake it off. I had something important to do today and I just pray something will come from it.
“He’s downstairs eating breakfast; I think Abby was going to take him to the park,” Erin says. “I know what you’re thinking, Will, and I’m telling you right now knock it off. He’s okay; in fact, he’s doing great. Yesterday he and Abby went and picked out a new video game then they came back here and played it until he beat the game. He was having a blast.”
“I just feel so guilty because I haven’t been there for him the last few days, but I’m glad he is doing great with Abby.” I grab my bag and take out my brush. “With everything that has happened this weekend, I’m glad he has her.”
I finished brushing my hair and decided it was a ponytail day. I grabbed my clothes and walked into the bathroom. Once I was dressed I looked in the mirror and was startled when I saw my swollen red eyes. I splashed some cold water on my face hoping to take down some of it away but that was not happening. I couldn’t let Cole see me like this.
Thoughts of him seeing me in the video made my stomach churn. Then many questions started to run through my mind. What if he is disgusted by me? What if he hates me now? What if he finds me repulsive? That video has shown every inch of my body and everything Carter said to me.
I’m just grateful that whoever recorded it was smart enough to not record while Carter was involved in his deceitful crimes. Knowing there wasn’t much I could do to make my appearance better I walked out of the bathroom and grabbed my bag.
“Here goes nothing,” I whisper to myself.
When I walked down the stairs I saw Cole waiting for me. I was more afraid of what he was feeling and was scared I would see a face full of disgust. When he saw me, he was instantly at my side and wrapping me in a safe embrace and kissed my forehead.
“I’m so sorry I wasn’t here for you, baby!” he consoled me. “I’m also sorry about not telling you about the video, I was just trying to protect you.”
He was telling me the truth so I wrapped my arms around his waist and leaned my head into his chest. He smelled of mint and leather and all around like Cole. His smell had a calming effect for me; I inhaled his scent and focus on his deep worried chocolate pools.
“I know Cole; I’m not upset about that. I’m upset about what you saw in that video, you saw more of me than I ever wanted. I’m afraid you find me disgusting and repulsive. I’m afraid you hate me and think I’m a fraud. I don’t know what you’re thinking but I wouldn’t blame you if you just walked away from all of this….from me.”
The tears were uncontrollable once again. Cole gently pushed my head up and his mouth softly covered mine. He pulled away and reached up and kissed away the tears. He pulled me in tighter against his chest.
“I don’t think any of those things, Willow, and I want you to know that when I realized what was going to happen in that cursed video I turned it off and forwarded it to Erin. I knew that if I watched it I wouldn’t be able to stop myself from doing something stupid. I love you so much, Willow, and nothing that he has done to you will change my mind. I’m here and I’m not going anywhere ever!”
He pulled away from me but he gently took my face in his hand and I see the passion, love, and determination written all over his face and in his eyes.
“I mean it, baby, I will always be here for you and I’m never going to walk away from you or from us. Yes, things haven’t been the easiest and it seems like the world is out to tear us apart. We need to get through this and we can as long as we are together.”
After that confession, I felt it was time for me to be honest with him about my feelings. My life has become an emotional roller coaster that is never ending but he helps keep me stable, he helps me to breathe; he makes me want to fight this.
I open my mouth to tell him when his dad walks in. He says we need to get going because Deb is already at the house. I sucked in my bottom lip and bit down; I’m so frustrated about this whole situation and wonder why I just can’t tell my boyfriend I love him.
UGH! I internally scream at the injustice of it all. Cole reaches for my hand but not before he leans down and places a kiss on my cheek. He whispers in my ear,
On the drive over to Cole’s house, I wondered what this Deb person was going to be like. Would she be kind and understanding or would she be a hard edge, take no crap kind of cop? I have never had to deal with the police before and I’m scared to death.
Tyler's threat still weighs heavily on my heart and in my mind. Do I really want to take this risk? Do I really want blood on my hands? I don’t want any of that. I don’t want any of this, but I have to do this and make Tyler pay and so I can move forward and start to heal.
It had only been about thirty minutes to his house from Erin’s. The minute we pulled into the driveway I started to feel dizzy and nauseous, my hands were shaky and sweaty. Cole noticed my apprehension and on the verge of a panic attack took my hand in his and said we could stay as long as I needed and he wasn’t going to leave my side until I told him to.
Isaac must have sensed it too because he looked back and then quietly got out of the car and walked into the house. It had taken me another five minutes to gather the courage.
I squeezed Cole’s hand and told him I was ready. Once we both were out of the car he walked over to me and once again took my hand as we walked into the house.
We could hear people talking when we walked in, but once Isaac saw us enter he told Deb. She walked up to me and I felt an instant calm with her. She was a wisp of a woman but held an aura of power. I got the impression she is one of those women who can be as tough as nails.
Deb seems like one of those who you don't mess with, the kind who will kick your ass and take numbers while doing it. I’m beginning to feel that this woman is just what we need. She holds out her hand for me to take it and I oblige.
“Hi, Willow, I’m Detective Deb Carson and I wish we didn't have to meet like this, but I am here to help you put those who hurt you away.”
“It’s nice to meet you; Mr. Knight says you’re the best,” I give a fake smile.
“I don’t know about that but I do my best to put creeps away and bring the victims peace,” she tried to reassure me by smiling.
“That’s all I want,” I tell her. Cole is still holding my hand but let it go so he can shake Deb’s hand as well.
“You must be Isaac’s son?” She moves over and holds out her hand to him. Of course, Cole puts on his charm.
“Yes, ma’am, that would be me.”
“Should we get started, Willow?” I really didn’t want to but it needed to be done.
Cole takes my hand back in his and walks us over the couch. He sits down next to me. Deb sits in the chair and takes out her notebook. She looks like she wants to say something.
“Isaac has filled me in on what you have told him. He showed me the texts you received yesterday and he mentioned something about a video. If it is possible I need to see it. If it is something we can use to catch this guy then it will be very helpful,” she urged.
“Yes, of course,” Cole answered as he pulls out his phone out of his pocket. He pulls up the link then hands it to her. “I didn’t watch all of it. I couldn’t because the guy is sick and, well, you’ll see.”
Deb takes the phone and watches the video; I can see the disgust all over her face. After she is done watching she clears her throat, “I need that video for evidence so I'm going to have to take your phone."
"That's alright you can have it." He scowls "That phone is tainted and I don't want it anymore. I'm due for a new one anyway." I can't help but raise my eyebrow questionably and stare at him.
"Cole, you can't just throw away a phone because of the video."
"Baby, whenever I look at that phone now all I see is that video and I don't want to be reminded of it. It's okay, my contract is up so I can buy a new phone. It's not a big deal."
If it was possible my heart just combusted with even more love for this boy, he has already done so much for me. We stare at each other and get lost in the moment until someone clears their throat. Cole chuckles and I stifle a giggle. Deb looks over and it's obvious she is trying to hold back her laughter. She finally speaks,
“Based on this, Willow, I have grounds to arrest him. However, here is where it gets complicated. I can’t hold him based on the threats, but I’m fairly certain once the DA sees this video we can file charges.”
I swallowed the lump in my throat. “Richard Harrison is his uncle so I don’t know that you can make the charges stick,” I tell her and she smiles.
“I know Richard and I’m not afraid of him. We've been watching him for a while now, we are just waiting to catch him in a big screw up. He’s into some shady business.”
“Shady Business? Could my father be involved?”
“Everyone who works at the firm is under investigation, but let’s not worry about that right now. I need to ask you some questions so we can move forward.” I nod and take a deep breath.
“Willow, the questions I’m going to ask you involve Friday night and any past encounters you have had with the perp. If at any time you need a break you just tell me and we will stop, alright?”
“Yes,” I respond. Cole takes my hand back in his and threads his fingers through mine; he softly rubs my hand with his thumb. Isaac is sitting in another chair on the other side of the room.
Sarah comes in and brings us all a drink then disappears back into the kitchen. I look in and see her talking and playing with Bridgett while the little girl chews on apple slices.
Deb starts. “Okay, Willow, I need you to tell me about the night of your assault.”