Jared Mackenzie loved to run. He loved the smell of the sweat, the burn in his body, and the way it felt when his feet hit the ground. He did it every morning before he went to work. Though Jared was a billionaire, he liked having a job and earning money that didn’t just come from his stocks. And he loved his job.
Jared was a reporter for the local Colorado news Station. WFBU Channel 4 News and Weather. The way he saw it, he had the life. Money to burn to a crisp, the perfect job, the hottest women, and all the servants he needed to do the undesirable chores. And with all the running he did, Jared kept up his body and he didn’t have to have anyone tell him that he was hot. It was just something that didn’t need to be said.
Not when he looked in the mirror every day, he thought with a sly grin. And he could proudly admit that he was self centered. Women were for one night, it was his way or the highway... and he knew how to love himself. He also knew that caring for other people didn’t get you very far. It only got you in a whole lot of shit and left you with unwanted scars when they abandoned you.
People were for sources; climbing social ladders. But people weren’t everything. No one could compare to running. He loved it about the same as sex. Maybe even a little more... Running didn’t involve annoying little gold diggers. The house he lived in rested next to a lake and had glass walls. The glass was titanium like. It was practically missile-proof. But clear as the blue sky that hovered over him now.
And the house was a chick magnet. It was modernized, had all the latest furniture and electronics. And when he was alone he could enjoy it thoroughly. He saw a huge hill ahead, and pushed himself to go faster. He wanted his lungs to be burning when he reached the other side. Every morning he got up at six, kicked out whatever girl was there, and ran through the ten acres of woods he owned. Then he showered and went to work; to the best job in the world.
He pushed himself to sprint up the hill and his lungs were on fire before he’d reached the top. He stopped when he got to the peak, and gazed at the world he was surrounded by. Green trees glistened in the morning dew, the lake shimmered in the waking sun. All was quiet. He took a deep breath, and felt his hip begin to vibrate. He cursed as he let out the breath. The slim, red cell phone shook madly in it’s holder. He looked at the number and immediately recognized his boss’ number.
He hissed out a few more profanities then answered. “What?” he said in a hard voice.
“Don’t get pissy with me Jared.” Mark Granger replied in an urgent tone. “I know you do your little runs in the morning but this is more important. There’s been an accident on Risedale Mountain and the driver has been confirmed dead.”
Jared licked his lips and turned around. “I’m heading back toward the house right now.” he said and began jogging.
“You should already be out there. If you’re not on scene in ten minutes I’m sending Ken. I’m sure he’d be more then happy to cover the story.” Mark said in a threatening tone.
Jared gritted his teeth. “I’ll be there. Run me through on the details while I get back to the house. It should only take me thirty seconds to get there.
“Then I’ll make this short and sweet. Someone rammed the side of the car into the mountain, and the car belongs to a woman named Agnes Jones. Or more like a girl. Only twenty. Not even old enough to drink.”
Jared almost froze in place. He gasped. “Agnes Jones is dead?” he asked, not believing it.
“Body hasn’t been identified yet. But definitely a woman around that age. Apparently she was pretty smashed up. Some nasty stuff. Wait, you didn’t know her did you?”
Jared swallowed then did stop. “Um, yeah. I did in school. She used to be my best friend.” he said, his voice hardly above a whisper. He cleared his throat. “But we didn’t end things too well. Dear God.” He breathed. “I can’t believe she’s... I can’t believe I’m saying this, no, I can. Send Ken out. Let him have the story. I can’t do it.”
Mark sighed. “Too bad. I wanted the best on this one. I’m sorry for you though. Maybe it’s not her ya know.”
Jared thought about that, then shook his head. “Don’t try to cheer me up. I’m taking the week off. I need to be alone.”
“She meant a lot to ya huh?” Mark asked, his tone soft.
“Yeah, I guess she did.” Jared whispered then closed the phone.
He slipped it back in the holder and sank to the ground. He hadn’t even known she was in Colorado. Not that he expected her to call him after what he did to her. But he was going to look her up and they were going to be friends again. He kept thinking about it, but then he’d decided he didn’t have the time, or he could wait just another couple of months. Really he had been scared to death to face her. He had a feeling if she saw him again that she was likely to pull a gun on him. And he knew he would have deserved it.
But now time was up. There were no more chances. Now she was dead. Dead before she was even old enough to legally drink. He ran his fingers through his dirty blonde hair and pulled at it. There was only one thing to say about it now. “I really fucked up this time.”