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  1. Thanks for the support, as always 🙏 Robbie's definitely getting in over his head, in more ways than one!
  2. When Ben Speaks “Fuck!” Robbie cussed out as a speck of the tomato sauce he was heating up for lunch hit his pristine white t-shirt, staining it bright red. “What happened?” Charlie asked, poking her head out of her bedroom. “Nothing, just spilled some sauce,” Robbie replied, sighing. He tried to wipe the stain off with water, but the damage was already done. With resignation, he took a few bites of the spaghetti straight from the pan, then took off his shirt and went back to his bedroom to change. Today was his most important interview of all, according to Guy. Today he’d be speaking to Benjamin Fowler, Casey’s brother. Guy had presented significant information, and enough motive, for Robbie to believe that Ben could truly be a potential suspect. Robbie was intrigued to meet the other sibling and see whether he was more like Elsa or Casey. He didn’t know much about the man, and Ben’s profile on his firm’s website was clinical and devoid of any personal information or clues to what he was like as a person. An hour later, Robbie entered the intimidating headquarters of Valencia, the digital marketing firm ran by Casey’s brother. It was a large and modern space, clean and full of glass windows and smartly dressed people mostly typing away at their desks. If what Guy said about the firm not doing so well financially was true, it was certainly not reflected at a first glance. The receptionist took Robbie up to a conference room that housed a table for twenty people. She brought him a cup of coffee, then left him to wait until the busy CEO showed up. Benjamin Fowler was a well dressed and neatly groomed man. He was tall and slim, like Casey, but his face was a bit older and much more serious. He wore a pair of sharp silver rimmed eyeglasses that looked simple but not cheap. He had a plain Rolex on his left wrist, and on his left hand Robbie noted a thin gold wedding band. Unlike Casey, he had no warmth or wild frivolity written on his face. Benjamin’s expression was set, and his manner reflected that of an efficient man who disliked anything out of order or that didn’t align with his particular world view. He shook Robbie’s hand with a quickness, and wasted no time on any other niceties. “I’ve already talked to the police. I have nothing new to say, and I’m only speaking with you out of courtesy to my grieving sister. Now, you have five minutes, then I need to get back to work. Go,” he said, glancing at the expensive looking Rolex on his wrist. Robbie expected him to be less than welcoming, but he wasn’t prepared for a five minute time limit. “What were you doing at Casey’s apartment that morning?” he asked. “Like I already told the cops, I went over to try to talk my brother into a music deal with Magenta. It was a great deal, it would have helped him out immensely.” “But he wasn’t struggling for money,” Robbie replied. “Not in terms of money, it would have helped him out with structure. Given him a more solid schedule. Casey was all over the place, it was hard to get him into the studio. He had no structure in his life. He just did what he wanted, when he wanted. That’s not a healthy way to live, and it led him into all his mood swings and depressive episodes. A deal with Magenta would have given him a deadline and some responsibility. His fans deserved a new album. A three album deal with Magenta would have guaranteed that they got what they wanted, while Casey continued doing what he loved, for the right price.” “But he felt like being tied down to a label for three albums was too stifling?” “That’s right, he couldn’t commit to it. Like I said, he was all over the place,” Fowler replied. “And what exactly did he say when you decided to talk to him about it that morning?” “He said it wasn’t happening, that he wouldn’t let me crush his creativity by selling him out for money. He was unhinged that morning, I think Guy and him had a fight the previous night, so he wasn’t in the greatest mood.” “He told you him and Guy had a fight?” “No, but I could tell most times. He’d act crazier than usual when things weren’t going his way with Guy. He was like a spoiled child at times. My parents babied him too much.” “Not according to your sister. She said your father was quite cold towards Casey.” “They babied her too,” he replied, shooting Robbie a pointed look. “Our dad did the best he could. He worked in the army, had a tough life. He didn’t exactly ooze warmth and love out of every pore. But he was a good father. Gave us a stable childhood. We never wanted for anything.” “But he didn’t like Casey being gay?” “What father does?” Benjamin asked, staring Robbie right in the eyes, as if it was a challenge. “Some fathers don’t mind,” Robbie replied and Benjamin gave a dry chuckle. “Our father never beat him, never threw him out of the house, never said a bad word. Just because he didn’t throw him a coming out party doesn’t mean he was a bad father. Casey always expected too much, wanted too much from people. He was like a puppy that needed constant attention. It’s only cute for so long, until it isn’t. Until it becomes draining and annoying.” Robbie was shocked at Ben’s cold approach, when his brother had passed so recently. Was the man devoid of feelings? “Seems like he was searching for something,” Robbie said. “Well, whatever it was, it was elusive and I don’t think he ever found it.” Robbie pondered the answer. It was a chilly way to address a dead brother. “Are we done?” Benjamin asked, glancing at his watch once again. “Almost. What do you think about Zane X?” Robbie asked, going off the script Guy had provided him with. Ben regarded Robbie for a long while, then finally replied, “I don’t think anything about him.” “He has a fairly extensive criminal record, do you think Casey’s association with him had anything to do with any of this?” “I don’t,” Ben replied simply. This was strange to Robbie. If he were accused of a crime, he would be happy to place blame on another potential suspect. Yet Ben wasn’t doing that. “Why’s that?” “Zane had no motive to hurt Casey. And if he had been to see him that day, there is no way that nobody would have noticed, seeing as he’s one of the biggest rappers in the world at the moment,” he replied. Robbie thought he was finished, but suddenly he spoke again, “Let’s face the facts Robbie, the only two people who saw Casey on the morning of his death are sitting right here, in this room. Now, I know I didn’t do it, and you say you didn’t do it. Which leads me to believe the police are probably right, and it was a horrific freak accident.” Now it was Robbie’s turn to stare at Ben. Was he speaking the truth, or was there something buried underneath his words. “I just have one last question,” he said as Benjamin shifted forward to get up. “Do you miss him?” “What type of question is that?” he asked, somewhat offended. “A simple one.” “Would you like me to break down and cry in front of you, a complete stranger, to prove that I miss my brother? Well, that’s not going to happen,” he replied, getting up. “I trust you can find your way out of here,” he said, and Robbie nodded. When he got back home, he found Guy sitting in front of his door, waiting. “What are you doing here? I was just about to call you,” Robbie said. “I wanted to hear what he told you in person,” Guy replied. He looked worse than the last time Robbie saw him, like he hadn’t gotten any sleep. The bags under his eyes were accentuated by his dark circles, and his scruff was now slowly forming into a beard. “Come on in,” Robbie said, opening the door. Guy followed him inside, and they went over to sit on the couch. “I have to say, I didn’t really believe you at first, but there’s something not right with that man,” Robbie started and he could see Guy’s eyes sparkle with anger. He continued on, “The way he talks about Casey is just so…cold and unpleasant. Like he doesn’t even care that his brother died." “I knew it,” Guy mumbled, running a hand through his hair. His eyes were now slightly moist. “What are you going to do?” Robbie asked, putting a gentle hand on Guy’s shoulder and massaging it. “I’m going to kill him,” Guy replied, and Robbie had no doubts that he meant it. “No, listen,” he said and turned Guy’s face towards him. “Casey wouldn’t have wanted that. He wouldn’t have wanted you to spend the rest of your life in prison for killing his brother. He was way too good and pure, he would have wanted you to be happy.” Robbie stared into Guy’s lively blue-green eyes and feeling empowered by the night he just had with Zane, slowly leaned in to kiss him. Guy didn’t move at first, and just as Robbie wondered whether he’d made a big mistake and was about to get knocked out by a boxer, Guy’s lips finally opened with sudden force and in a matter of seconds the two of them were entangled on the couch and ripping each other’s clothes off. But midway through their romp, the door of the apartment flew open as Charlie walked in, then with a shriek at the sight in front of her, she dropped her shopping bags and ran into her room. “Jesus,” Guy mumbled, getting off Robbie as if he was shocked by an electric current, and pulling his pants back on. “It’s alright, you can stay,” Robbie tried to convince him, but Guy was already tying his shoes. “My bad, I didn’t mean to do that, I’m just, I’m a fucking mess. Listen, I’ll call you if there’s anyone else I need you to speak to, but for now you’ve done a great job. I truly appreciate it Robbie,” he said, and then he was gone, leaving Robbie frustrated, horny, and confused about his own feelings. After a while, he picked up his phone and texted Zane, whose number he was now proud to possess. To his surprise, the rapper texted back right away and asked Robbie to come over. Hours later, after drinking way too much champagne, snorting two lines of cocaine with Zane's crew, then watching the rapper play basketball inside his indoor court, Robbie found himself naked in bed and more sexually frustrated than ever, because Zane passed out in the middle of Robbie giving him a blow job. Was this really the life of the rich and famous, he wondered. If so, he was having major doubts about ever wanting any part of it.
  3. Thank you, appreciate the feedback! More coming soon.
  4. Thank you for taking the time to write yet another insightful comment, it's greatly appreciated. You're spot on about everything, once again, haha! Now get out of my head please 😄
  5. Zane’s World Zane X’s posh Los Angeles pad looked like a teenage boy’s dream. It was filled with colorful graffiti art on the walls, pinball machines in the corners, and sleek black velvet furniture. He had two giant pit bulls freely roaming around the house with no collars, making Robbie extremely nervous. And to add to his anxiety, there was a whole crew of people at the house, from Zane’s manager Stephanie down to his high school friends who went on tour with him. Robbie could only conclude that Zane enjoyed a fast lifestyle, and didn’t appreciate being left alone with his thoughts. “Yo, my man, welcome to the crib,” Zane said walking down the stairs. He was shirtless and wearing in a pair of grey sweatpants that gave a pretty good preview of something impressive underneath them. He had a buff chest, and Robbie noted the heavy looking diamond chain hanging around his neck, because it almost blinded him when the light bounced off of it and into his face. When he greeted Robbie by saying “Gimme some dap” and tried to slap his hand unsuccessfully, Robbie smelled a strong and expensive cologne on his skin. Zane was tall and muscular, and the wannabe actor felt strangely small standing in front of the ex-felon. He had done his research on Zane before coming over, and the man had a CVS-receipt-long rap sheet. Zane X, whose government name was Jermaine Aaron Williams, had been arrested for a criminal possession of a weapon, and spent a year in prison after his conviction. Later he was arrested for a charge of sexual assault, for which he served more time. And then another charge of drug possession, which landed him on a lengthy probation. “Yo, get my guest a drink. Whatcha drink my man? You look like a…diet coke and rum kind of dude,” he said and busted out laughing along with the rest of his crew. Robbie didn’t know why, but he felt offended. “I’ll have a water please,” he said, and the crew laughed even harder. But just as quickly as he started it all, Zane got them back under control. “Alright, alright. Yo, get the man a water with some lemon, and peace out for a few, I wanna have a chat with my homez,” he said and someone instantly came by and handed Robbie a cup of water, then the room slowly emptied out, leaving Robbie with a man who, by all accounts, was very dangerous. Robbie sat across from Zane, on a black velvet armchair. “Yo, where I seen your face?” Zane asked, staring at Robbie from the couch and making him cringe inwardly. “Uhh, I’m not sure.” “A commercial?” “Maybe, I did a spot for Colgate.” “I knew it!” he said, snapping his fingers. “Don’t brush in a rush,” he quoted Robbie’s only line from the commercial. This usually would completely mortify the failed actor, but for some reason coming from Zane X it seemed like a compliment. He even made the corny line sound cool. “That shit was dope,” he said, and swiftly pulled out a perfectly rolled joint from the pocket of his sweatpants. “I appreciate you taking the time to see me,” Robbie began politely, and feeling completely out of his element in the bizarre world of a famous rapper. Zane lit up the joint and settled into the couch, blowing smoke out of his mouth. “Better you than that nut job. He thinks I’m gonna spar with him one on one. Mans is crazy. Whacko. I ain’t throwing hands over no ass, not even Casey’s, may his soul rest in peace,” the rapper said, respectfully. “Did you and Casey have a close relationship?” Zane took another puff of the joint, then stared at Robbie for a minute. “You know, we had that chemistry. That deep chemistry,” he said licking his full lips slowly and making Robbie feel some type of way—he couldn’t figure out if it was uncomfortable or aroused. “But it wasn’t like, nuthin serious, you feel me? He was always worrying ‘bout that busted up boxer. And I’m not chasing after no ass, the ass comes to me, you know, so…but we had our fun, you feel me?” Robbie did feel him, but couldn’t really comprehend the meaning of his words. “Fun?” he asked, surprised. “No, nuthin like that. We just vibed, you know. We’d run ideas by each other. I’d Facetime him to get his opinion on a verse. He’d call me up and play some of his shit. A collaborative thing, you know. Artist to artist. I called him before ‘Murda Dat Ass’ came out, asked if he was cool with that verse. Outta respect, ‘course.” “And was he?” Zane took another puff and threw up his hands like it was a no brainer. “He loved that shit, ate it up. Who doesn’t like having a song about them, ya know? He was especially cheesed that it would make the old man pissed.” “Guy?” “Yeah, he was like ‘Oh My God Zane, he’s going to flip when he hears that. He’ll probably kill me.’” He said, imitating Casey’s voice. Both men fell into silence. “He said that?” Robbie asked, shocked by this revelation. “In those exact words.” They sat in silence for a while, until Zane added, “It was probably that stalker though.” “Ah yes, Elsa mentioned something about a stalker.” “Yeah, wrote him all type of crazy letters and shit. It was wild. I told Casey I could take care of that shit, you know. But he didn’t want me to get involved. Didn’t want Guy feeling like I was stepping on his toes I guess, and now look at this shit. Old white boy didn’t do shit about it, got my boy killed. Useless motherfucker.” “How exactly were you going to take care of it?” Robbie asked, but Zane just looked at him in silence then muttered, “C’mon man, don’t ask no stupid questions.” Robbie just nodded. Thankfully, Zane’s uptight assistant happened to butt her head in at just the right time. “Zane, the Daily Post wants a comment on the rumors that there will be a full song dedicated to Casey on your new album.” Zane shook his head in annoyance. “Damn, the fucking vultures,” he commented. “I’ll just tell them the date for your next single, is that alright?” “Sure,” he replied, sounding tired. “And you have an interview with HipWorld in an hour, don’t forget,” she said. “Nah, cancel that shit. I’m not in the mood. ‘Sides, I gotta practice my jump shot.” She raised her eyebrow. “You have to practice your jump shot…over promoting your album?” “Yeah, I gotta get my form right. It’s been weak, and now with all this shit going on…no interviews man. Cancel the whole week,” he said, irritated. “Oh Jesus,” she replied, looking like she was a moment away from fainting. “They probably already making a damn documentary about Case. Fucking vultures. Be happy you’re doing commercials man, you get your dough then bounce, and people don’t stalk you and photograph your every movement like a zoo animal.” Robbie wasn’t sure if this was a compliment or an insult. “Well listen, this has been a fun chat my man, but I ain’t got nothing else to tell you.” “I understand, thanks for seeing me,” Robbie replied, and started to get up. He didn’t exactly get to ask all the questions Guy would have wanted him to cover, but Zane was too intimidating to argue with. He felt the rapper’s eyes roam over his body. “I mean, shit, you can stay if you want, I got time tonight,” Zane offered, his arms splayed out on the back of the couch, and a fully formed bulge presented itself in his grey sweatpants. Robbie froze. Nobody had ever came onto him this bluntly. “I…uh…” Robbie stammered out, but thankfully Zane was tactful enough to save him. “Let me show you the upstairs of the crib,” he said, and Robbie followed him up the stairs, his heart pounding wildly. What the heck was he thinking? Was he really about to put himself one on one with a convicted felon and sexual offender inside of his bedroom? Even though rationally this was a terrible idea, Robbie wasn’t thinking with his head. All he could focus on were those perfect muscles and the impressive looking bulge. Upstairs, inside of Zane’s bedroom, all pretenses were quickly dropped when the rapper grabbed Robbie as if he were a rag doll and kissed him fiercely, then gently pushed him down to his knees and brought a very aesthetically pleasing tool right up to his lips. “You look a little like him,” he said, out of nowhere, and Robbie paused. “Really?” he asked, thrilled by the prospect of being compared to the stunning Casey. But instead of answering Zane simply thrust his member into Robbie’s open mouth. When he woke up in the middle of the night, Zane was gone. The maid downstairs told him he had gone to the studio to record a feature with another rapper. “At this hour?” Robbie asked, confused. And she had told him that they usually recorded at night and slept during the day. He wasn’t sure if he should stay and wait for Zane to get back, or leave in the middle of the night. He idly walked around Zane’s bedroom, opening drawers and letting curiosity get the best of him. Until he opened one that contained what appeared to be a Glock, although Robbie didn’t know much about guns. He quickly closed it back up. Zane was still on probation, surely he wasn’t allowed to have a weapon in the house. What other secrets was he possibly hiding? But even though seeing the gun was jarring, there was a strange excitement stirring in Robbie’s stomach. Behind the scary exterior of an ex-felon, there hid a childlike joy and enthusiasm for life inside of Zane. An innocent type of sweetness and depth that not everyone got to see. But Robbie got to experience it, the same way that Casey must have. He smiled and pulled out his phone, then dialed Guy to let him in on the details of his conversation with Zane X, while tactfully choosing to leave out the other part of his close encounter with the handsome rapper.
  6. Inception! 🤣 I'm excited for Zane's introduction. He's one of my favorite characters to write. Preach.
  7. The Tears of a Sister Robbie walked past the couple of idling paparazzi standing outside of Elsa Fowler’s building. It was amazing to him the way he could pass by people like a ghost, without them ever giving him a second glance. Elsa was the first interview on his list, even though Guy had full access to her. Guy’s rationale was that sometimes people avoided telling the truth to those they were close to. Sometimes they could open up to total strangers with much more ease. Guy just wanted Robbie to ask her a couple of questions and see if she would reveal something to him that she might not have shared with Guy or the police. Elsa sat inside of a hanging egg hammock in the middle of her hippie downtown loft. Robbie tried his best to breathe as little as possible, knowing the incense she had burning in the room would trigger his allergies. He could tell that she’d been crying, her face was puffy and her eyes were red and swollen. She swung back and forth absentmindedly, while lighting a perfectly rolled joint. She wore a flowery Asian kimono robe, with a pair of tiny white shorts and tank top underneath, hugging her enviable figure perfectly. Her red tresses fell down in loose waves, and a pair of golden hoops hung from her small ears. Even in grief, Robbie thought she was perfectly stunning. “My speakers are broken,” she said, waving her hand towards the wall, “I’m having someone come fix them today. I wanted to play you that new Zane X beat. It’s so sick,” she said, and continued to gently swing from the suspended chair, with one long leg hanging out and the other tucked in underneath her. “They’re saying he dedicated a whole song for Case on his new album.” “Zane and Casey had an interesting relationship,” Robbie started, trying to tread gently. This would be a potentially sensitive subject. He sat on the couch, a few feet away from her. “Was there anything more between them?” “You mean like, were they fucking?” she asked, not beating around the bush. “No, Casey wasn’t into Zane like that. He liked his music and thought the guy was dope, but rappers were not his type. He liked the sporty-and-in-the-closet men more.” Robbie nodded, he was already going off script from the questions Guy had told him to ask. “How did Casey feel about Zane’s songs?” “We loved Zane’s 'Murda Dat Ass',” Elsa said suddenly smiling, and seeming to remember something fondly. “We’d always blast it in the car when Guy wasn’t around.” She laughed, took a puff of the joint, then broke into a rap: “He wanna stay at the crib, won’t take no for an answer. I tell that hoe to scatter, Bitch, you ain’t Casey Fowler!” Her smile lingered for a second, then as if suddenly remembering that her brother was gone, her face turned to a frown once again. “Casey didn’t object to being…well, objectified?” Elsa looked confused at the question. “No, he loved Zane’s flows. Who doesn’t want to be the object of someone else’s desire? He was flattered. He had no real interest in Zane though, he was head over heels crazy about Guy. Wanted to marry him, start a family. He would have given it all up for that man.” “But, it seems he also enjoyed toying with Guy a bit,” Robbie suggested. “What do you mean?” “Guy mentioned that Casey liked making him jealous.” “Oh, well, it’s not so much the he enjoyed toying with him. Casey would complain that Guy was irrational, but I think he secretly liked it. Guy was so terrified of official commitment, that the angry and jealous outbursts made Casey feel like he gave a shit. Like the relationship really mattered to him, you know? He just wanted someone to take care of him. To love him unconditionally. He didn’t get that from our dad, he was cold towards Casey, so he always sought that out in men. But he’d inevitably pick men exactly like our dad, who couldn’t give him the type of love he wanted. It was a self-destructive cycle.” She exhaled a cloud of smoke and Robbie held in a cough. “How did Guy feel about those Calvin Klein pictures?” Robbie asked, referring to some famous racy shots of Casey in his underwear for an underwear campaign. The photo spread ended the era of “sweet Casey” and took a turn into a Casey that was more in touch with his sensuality. Featuring the singer in just a tight pair of white Calvin’s, sitting down on his knees and looking to the side of the camera, as if his lover was just mere feet away, heading towards him. Elsa started shaking her head, “You’re better of not bringing those up to Guy. It’s a sore spot for him. They had one of their biggest blow outs over those pictures.” “Really, why?” “Guy thought Casey was trying too hard to get attention. That it cheapened his brand. Casey got pissed off, called him a controlling jackass. Same old story every time.” Robbie was enthralled. Everything pointed to Casey and Guy having a pretty tumultuous relationship. Was Guy capable of murder? Did jealousy drive him to commit a heinous act? Robbie figured he’d lay all his cards out on the table and ask Elsa point blank. “Do you think Guy was capable of hurting Casey?” She stopped swinging in the hammock and stared into Robbie’s eyes with a pointed look. “Look, I know Guy has his suspicions about what happened. That maybe Casey didn’t fall down the stairs, that maybe someone beat him. But, it wasn’t Guy. He was obsessed about protecting Casey, and keeping him safe. That’s why he was on such high alert recently, even though nobody else took that stalker seriously.” “Stalker?” Robbie asked, surprised by this new information. “Oh yeah, Casey had a stalker. I mean, he had a lot of crazy and obsessive fans. But there was one that just…sent really creepy letters. And they were getting progressively more and more creepy. But Casey was a celebrity, so the police didn’t really care since he received thousands of letters all the time. They didn’t think it was a serious threat. Casey laughed it off mostly. But I know Guy was trying to trace them back to the sender.” “What did they say?” “Oh you know, we have a connection, I think we’re meant to be, all the usual creepy bullshit. But there was just something about the way he wrote, that…well, it sounded unhinged I suppose,” she said, getting up and going over to table in the middle of the room, where Robbie noticed photo albums and pictures laid out everywhere. “I’m in charge of picking the photos for the memorial,” she answered, before Robbie could voice the question, then started to silently cry. Robbie wasn’t sure what the protocol was, after all he had just recently met Elsa under less than ideal circumstances, but he walked over and hugged her anyway. He hated seeing people cry. She hugged him back weakly. “I just can’t wrap my head around the fact that he’s gone,” she mumbled into his shoulder. Robbie just silently nodded. Even though he didn’t personally know Casey, he had felt the pain of his loss just like all of his fans who thought they knew the pop star from listening to his songs, and watching his music videos and interviews. He was an integral part of their lives, and now he was extinguished forever. It seemed surreal. After she stopped crying, Robbie sat on the couch with her and let her talk while she showed him childhood pictures of baby Casey, and recalled sweet anecdotes from their younger years. When he finally left, he called Guy and filled him in on the conversation, which didn’t exactly bring any new information to the light. “Listen Robbie, thanks for doing this. I just have a few more people I want you to talk to,” Guy said. “No problem,” Robbie replied. It’s not like he had anything better going on in his life, and Guy was paying him a pretty decent amount of money for just talking to people. “Who’s next on the list?” “I’m trying to get Elsa to convince Ben to talk to you, since I’m technically banned from his building. Long story,” he said before Robbie could ask anything. “But for now I managed to convince Zane’s manager Stephanie to let you go and talk to him. I highly doubt that asshole had anything to do with this, but I can’t rule him out.” “Zane…as in, Zane X?” Robbie asked, trying hard to conceal his excitement. He had no idea Guy would be able to get him a one on one conversation with one of the biggest rappers in the game. His palms felt sweaty just thinking about it. “That’s the one,” Guy replied with distaste. “I’ll text you the details later, I gotta run.” Robbie hung up and smiled. He couldn’t believe how fast things could change in life. From being broke and struggling, to making money from speaking to a musical God. Maybe, just maybe, his luck was slowly turning.
  8. MozLover21

    Chapter 2

    Stay safe my friend!
  9. Thank you, next chapter will be out shortly!
  10. I can’t say that I am 😂 but my niece is. I used to know someone named Elsa though, she was from Spain. I think that’s why I had the name floating in my brain.
  11. You came up with so many good possibilities, wow! Maybe I need to ask you to plot out my next story 🤔 Stay safe from that Corona my friend, because your feedback is indispensable to me.
  12. The Tone of Death Robbie sat next to his roommate Charlie on the couch, engrossed in the TV coverage following Casey Fowler’s death. He couldn’t believe that just a few days ago he was present at that very same house that was now displayed on every single news channel, with reporters swarming all around it like vultures around a dead body, and camera shutters going off anytime the door opened. He wanted to call his ex Michael and let him know that he was involved in this story that was now playing out on a global scale. But Michael had been ignoring him since their nasty breakup, and Robbie didn’t feel like making a fool of himself yet again. So instead he focused on the tv footage that would alternate between live news from outside of the pop singer’s house, to older footage of Casey at award shows, as well as clips from his music videos. He was a stunning young man, a fact acknowledged by both the straight and gay worlds. A universally good looking face with large trusting hazel eyes, and a gorgeous set of loose brown curls. “Now, did you really say that you were right in there, inside the house?” Charlie asked, making Robbie repeat himself for the fifth time. “Yes, right inside,” he replied. “I can’t believe it. That poor boy, that must have been quite a fall,” Charlie said, then added, “He was probably on drugs,” and Robbie shot her a look. For some reason, witnessing what he had that morning made him protective over the now deceased Casey Fowler. He could still vividly remember those pale bare feet, with red blood on them. The tv boomed with another update, “Rapper Zane X has released a statement of condolences on his Instagram following Casey Fowler’s death. The two were alleged to have dated at some point, and have remained close friends throughout their careers.” “Yum,” Charlie said as a picture of Zane X flashed on the screen. The bisexual rapper was a music phenomenon, and Robbie remembered that there had been rumors of him and Casey hooking up at some point, and it supposedly having caused tension between Casey and Guy. He bit into a piece of pizza, enthralled by the visual of the handsome rapper on the screen, when suddenly there was a loud banging on the door. Both roommates looked at each other with unease. “Maybe a reporter wanting to interview you,” Charlie said. “I’ll go get it.” Robbie sat on the couch nervously, until Charlie walked back in with a strange expression, like she’d just seen a ghost. Robbie was shocked to see Guy Hopkins following behind her. Did the boxer change his mind about Robbie lying, and came to kill him as revenge? “Hey, sorry to intrude. Do you mind if I have a word with you alone?” he asked, and Charlie started hiccuping. A tick she had whenever she was extremely nervous. “Sure, let’s uh…go to my room,” Robbie suggested. “No, I’ll go to mine, you guys stay out here,” Charlie offered, then took a quick look back at Guy. “It was such a pleasure to meet you Mr. Hopkins…Guy,” she stammered out, red in the face, then fled to her room. Guy didn’t seem to notice the effect he had on her. He walked over and sat a good distance away from Robbie on the old green couch. “I, uh…” he started, but seemed to be lost for words. “How are you doing?” Robbie asked, trying to help out, and quickly grabbed the remote and turned off the tv, not wanting Guy to see what he was watching. “I’m…not so well. But, I’m not here to talk about that,” he replied, getting right down to business. Robbie could tell Guy was not someone who was comfortable with his emotions, despite the very emotional display he made upon seeing Casey’s body. “Okay, well, let me make you some tea,” he replied, trying to diffuse the uncomfortable situation. Guy Hopkins didn’t strike him as a tea drinker, but when the man didn’t reject the offer, Robbie got up and turned on the tea kettle in the small kitchen. “What did you want to talk about then?” he asked, coming back over to the couch. “Well, the coroner’s report won’t be out for a while, and the police aren’t telling me shit. But I can’t just sit still, Robbie. You have to understand, I need to know.” “Okay,” Robbie replied, still confused. He felt extremely nervous and twitchy with Guy Hopkins towering over him in his own apartment. The guy could choke the daylights out of him without breaking a sweat. “Listen, I came here because I need a favor,” Guy said. Robbie stared back surprised, he wasn’t sure what type of favor he could do for Guy Hopkins, when the man already had every resource at his disposal. “There’s some people I need to get information from, so I can make sense of all this. But, a lot of them won’t talk to me directly. I don’t want a private detective, that would be too messy. You’re the last person that saw Casey. I want you to do it. I’ll pay you, of course. And I’ll tell you exactly what you need to ask. It’ll just be a couple of interviews.” Robbie sat back stunned. “What kind of croissants did you get?” Guy asked suddenly, making Robbie’s head spin with the sudden switch in conversation. “I’m sorry?” “What kind of croissants did Casey order?” “Uhh, one almond and two chocolate,” Robbie replied. Guy gave a bitter laugh. “Two chocolate…that’s for Benjamin. Casey would only eat almond. He was a picky eater, you know,” he confessed suddenly, and Robbie felt like he was intruding on a very private moment. Like these personal thoughts belonged to the ears of another friend of Casey’s, not a random stranger. But Guy went on, “Very picky. If I got him the wrong thing I’d never hear the end of it. ‘You don’t care about what I like. You’re so selfish’” he imitated Casey’s voice then chuckled. “He was particular about his iced coffee. Two Splendas and a dash of coconut milk. But I always got the milk wrong, and it would send him into a spiral. He was moody like that. Always testing me, always trying to prove that he was right, and that I was an asshole who didn’t care about him. That’s childhood shit, you know. Trying to protect himself from being hurt. His father was a lieutenant colonel in the army. Not exactly the biggest proponent of gay rights, as you can imagine. When he wanted to piss me off he’d always say that I reminded him of his father. That one button that he knew to push to make me go nuclear.” “Why did you and Elsa come to Casey’s house that morning?” Robbie asked out of curiosity. “Casey told me Ben was coming to see him that morning. Even though we had a fight the night before, he sent me a sweet message early that morning, and I just wanted to be there for him. Make sure Ben wasn’t trying to strong-arm him into any deals Case didn’t want to do. Ben and Casey don’t have the greatest history, and he was one person who could really put Case in a bad mental space. Probably the only person whose opinion he really cared about, if I’m being honest. That’s his big brother, you know. Casey always looked up to him. But Ben is more like their father, cold and aloof. I called Elsa on my way, and she said she was coming as well. Casey thought it would be a good time for him and Ben to get over their differences finally and just bond, but I knew what it was. Ben would try to force him to sign on for the Magenta deal. Between you and I, Ben’s company is not doing as great as he would like people to think. My feeling is that he wanted Casey to sign the deal so that he could take a cut for himself. To revive his dying business.” This was a lot of new information for Robbie to handle. He heard the tea kettle going off in the kitchen, and got up. Robbie had heard that Magenta was gunning to sign Casey Fowler, who had been independent for a while after splitting from his previous record label. And it looked like maybe Ben had a stake in the deal, and maybe even a motive to kill. “English breakfast or mint?” he called out from the kitchen. “English breakfast, please,” Guy replied. A minute later Robbie pushed the cup of tea toward the muscular man, who clutched at it with great force, making Robbie worry that he would crush the porcelain with his fingers. While Robbie was watching the cup, Guy kept on talking. “He liked pushing my buttons from time to time, liked getting a rise out of me, you know. In his mind, me being angry equated to me caring. So he enjoyed pushing my boundaries.” “Is that why he brought Zane X to the music awards with him the other month?” Robbie asked, trying to make conversation, but quickly realizing he asked the wrong question as Guy’s eyes went from wistfully reminiscing to scorching hot with anger in a matter of seconds. “Don’t mention that asshole. I’d knock the shit out of him if his crew ever let me go at him one on one. Unfortunately, he’s too much of a pussy.” “Why did Casey bring him to the awards then?” “We had a fight the night before. Something stupid, I think he was mad I wouldn’t accompany him. But see, that’s not my thing. Red carpets, camera flashes, all the fakeness of it all. I don’t want people talking about my personal life. So he invited that asshole because he knew it’d drive me up the wall.” Robbie thought about Zane’s verse on “Murda Dat Ass” regarding Casey. “He wanna stay at the crib, won’t take no for an answer. I tell that hoe to scatter, Bitch, you ain’t Casey Fowler.” “And did it…drive you up the wall?” “Of course, I hated seeing him with any other guy. I’m possessive by nature. Punched through the TV when I saw the two of them. Zane knew I didn’t like it. But how many times did he mention Casey in his trash music? Too many to count. The worst part of it was that Case didn’t mind. Of course he pretended not to care in front of me, but I think he was quite flattered by the attention. And that pissed me off too.” Robbie could remember another Casey verse on Zane’s last album. “After I hit it, he starts calling me dada, That dick got him twisted, thinks we’re together, wants gifts from Chanel and Escada I laugh, kick the kid out the door, Only Casey gets that Gucci and Prada.” “Did those lyrics make you jealous?” “What do you think?” Guy asked, angrily. “Of course they made me jealous. They made me crazy,” he replied, and Robbie saw a true spark or anger in his eyes. This was a man who, when pushed to his limits, could easily extinguish someone’s life. “And you think he did it on purpose?” “He loved it. He got off on it. Knowing how pissed it made me. Knowing how jealous I was about him,” he replied furiously, then suddenly, it was like all the air went out of him, and he slumped back into the green couch, as if hit by some realization. “You know…he would sing for me almost every day. Just a verse here and there. It felt like such a privilege, it was almost unreal. This was the voice people traveled thousands of miles and paid hundreds of dollars to hear. He had the voice of an angel, and I got to hear it every day, for free. It was the most…he was the best thing that’s ever happened to me,” Guy said, trying hard not to get emotional. “Sorry, I’m not usually such a cry baby,” he explained and Robbie felt terrible knowing that the man felt like he had to hide his emotions in order to appear strong. “Someone you loved just died, you’re allowed to cry,” he said. “Listen, I know I’m asking for a lot out of you. But, I just feel like I can trust you. Will you do me this favor?” Robbie wasn’t sure. What if Guy had killed Casey, and was doing all of this simply to make himself look innocent? To put on a show that made it look like he cared about finding out the truth. But the handsome man sitting beside him looked shattered, and incapable of coming up with a nefarious plan. He could barely take a sip of the tea Robbie had made him. It was clear as day he was suffering. Robbie put a gentle hand on Guy’s shoulder, making the man look at him hopefully. “I’ll do what I can to help,” he said.
  13. Amazing, as always. I'm in awe. And you won't have to wait too long, I'm editing chapter 2 as we speak. I'm just going to leave you with this: Things aren't always as they seem.
  14. Yoooo 🤣🤣🤣 I’m done. You’re too good at this. Can’t get anything past you. The Owl theory is my favorite one btw haha. I definitely hope it was the owl and not good ole Michael.
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