Excerpt from SUCH A GOOD GIRL by Willow Rose
I paused for a second as I showed the uniformed woman behind the glass my badge. It was still so shiny that it was hard to hide how new it was.
“Eva Rae Wilson? Agent Wilson?”
Her eyes lifted and met mine through the glass. The sound of my name made me wince slightly. After being married five years and changing my maiden name—Thomas—out with Wilson, I still hadn’t gotten used to being called that. I had discussed it intensely with my husband, Chad. I had wanted to keep Thomas because I loved that name, but he got very offended that I didn’t want to carry his name, so in the end, I caved. I just liked the sound of Agent Thomas better than Agent Wilson. Don’t ask me why. I guess I wasn’t prepared for losing my identity like that. In my mind, I was still Eva Rae Thomas as I had been my entire life.
“I don’t think I’ve met you before. You new?”
I nodded, blushing slightly. “Yes. Got with the bureau just recently.”
She gave me an annoyed look, then lifted her eyebrows. “And you’re here to see Frank Woods?”
“Yes. I’ve filled out all the paperwork.”
“Okay, looking fine…” she said, looking at the papers I had handed her when arriving. “You got the signature there, and on the back as well… and your initials on page three, yes. I guess you’re good to go.”
She leaned over and pre
ssed the button to open the locks on the double doors leading inside the prison. This bunker-like building only housed the worst of the criminals in the D.C. area. It was my first time there, and I wasn’t without jitters. I walked through and showed my badge once again, just lifting it so the guard could see it. I enjoyed showing it still, as it was something I had worked really hard to achieve. Becoming an FBI profiler with the BAU, Behavioral Analysis Unit, was a lifelong dream of mine, and it had finally come true. I had taken four years of psychology in college, then gone through training at the FBI Academy before being stationed at a field office in D.C. for three years before applying for the BAU. I couldn’t believe that I had been selected for training, and after two and a half years, I was
a fully functioning FBI profiler. Now, it was time for me to show them my skills. And I knew exactly how to impress them all. The solution was standing right in front of me a few seconds later when I sat down in the interview room, and the door was opened.
“Frank Woods,” I said to the guy in the orange jumpsuit. His hands and feet were chained together as he was guided inside, flanked by two guards with stern looks on their faces. He wasn’t as handsome as in the pictures I had in my file in front of me, but he was still a good-looking guy. The salt and pepper on the sides of his hair suited him, and it was clear he had spent the last six years on the inside working out. He was a lot more muscular now than he had been when convicted for murdering his wife.
I pointed at the chair in front of me, smiling politely, trying my best to hide just how nervous I was.
“Have a seat. You and I have a lot to talk about.”
Online dating was more challenging than she had expected it to be. Mary Ellen Garton scrolled through yet another profile on MillionairesMatch.com. She could hear her sister Frances’ voice in the back of her head, telling her it was a scam, that there were not actually millionaires on this dating site.
“I mean, if you were really a millionaire, why would you need to look for a date on a website? All you’d get would be gold diggers.”
Mary Ellen disagreed. It was true that most of the guys who had written to her had turned out not to be worth her time, but at some point, she was certain she would find Mr. Right. It wasn’t that he needed to be a millionaire; it would just be a nice addition—like a bonus. Even though Mary Ellen was a single mom with four children, she wasn’t exactly struggling. She was doing okay for herself and had taken care of them by herself for three years now while climbing the career ladder at her company. She was actually quite the businesswoman herself, and money was tight some months, but not severely. And she had finally been able to buy the house she had rented for the past five years, and with the house skyrocketing in value this past year, she had learned she now had a positive net worth.
Yes, Mary Ellen could take care of herself and her children just fine, even though her sister never believed she could. There was a lot more to Mary Ellen than her sister gave her credit for.
“I’ll find the perfect match, and you’ll be so jealous, Frances, while eating your own words,” she mumbled to herself, scrolling through the profiles, looking at the pictures. Mary Ellen paused at one, then clicked the profile. This guy’s photo showed him playing golf in those awful pants they always wore. He had a cute face, but she couldn’t really deal with the fact that he was a golfer. That usually took up a lot of a man’s time, and she would never see him when he was off work. That could be both good and bad. It was good to have time apart—to miss one another and not rub elbows all the time, but then again, she’d end up sitting alone with the kids all weekend and have to drive them alone to all their activities while grumbling about him being on the golf course, again. Mary Ellen’s friend Jennifer had that problem with her husband, and it drove her nuts. Nope, there was no way she was going down that road. Mary Ellen shook her head, then deleted this guy’s request to connect. She wasn’t taking any chances. This time, the guy had to be absolutely perfect for her. And she just knew he would be. He was there somewhere, waiting for her to find him. She knew it in her soul.
“Where are you, my future husband?” she said with an expectant smile as she scrolled further down, looking at pictures, discarding the men one after another. “I know you’re in here somewhere.”
She sighed as she looked at a guy she liked but then realized that he lived in France. She wasn’t up for a long-distance relationship. Not that he needed to live in her backyard or even in the same county. She didn’t mind driving a few hours, but she couldn’t do a whole other country. She simply didn’t want to.
“Nope,” she said and left his profile, slightly sad that he wasn’t the one since she really liked his deep blue eyes.
“It’s gotta be just right. And I know it will be once I….”
Mary Ellen paused when seeing the picture of a man who had already requested to connect with her. She stared at the picture, then took a deep breath and clicked his profile, expecting to find something wrong at first glance, as she had done with the rest of them. But to her surprise, it didn’t happen this time. This guy lived only three hours away, and he was about the same age as Mary Ellen, older by two years, which was perfect. He had no children and hadn’t been married before, only been in a long-term relationship with a woman who didn’t want to get married. They split because of different interests.
And he was actually a millionaire. He wrote that he had his own house with a pool and had made money on investments that made it possible for him to retire last year at the age of only forty-eight.
This means I will have plenty of time for a new partner in my life. And I will do my utmost to keep you happy.
Mary Ellen stared at the picture of him standing by a willow tree, leaning against it in his black jeans and blue shirt, smiling handsomely.
She leaned back in the chair, sighing comfortably, feeling a few butterflies appear in her stomach.
“There you are, Mr. Perfect. I was wondering when you’d show up.”