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Trouble Never Comes Alone


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Quinn Abernathy

Quinn Abernathy presses the phone tight to her ear, listening as it rings for what feels like ages. Her back is pressed into the corner where she crouches down, head bowed.


She spent her second day in New Orleans walking around town, running further errands. More purchases needed to be made. Things like batteries, candles, matches and lighters. Unlike the day before, when she bought all sorts of survivalist things - Quinn would appear to be going glamping for an extremely long time.

The bags would placed in the bed of her truck, and Quinn would find herself a little diner nearby to eat at. For once, she wants to eat something she didn't cook. Everything tastes better when someone else cooks it. And after her dinner, she walks to a liquor store, going inside and picking up several bottles of vodka and rum. For herself, for tonight, she would have a single bottle of wine.

Then, and only then, as the sun began to set and the moon put out the blaze of day, she would drive back to Valar. Tomorrow, she would return to the compound. Tonight, she would stay one last night in the tiny little cabins herself and Gideon had put together as their own.

Without a care, Quinn leaves all that she has purchased in the bed of the truck. No one would bother anything, but for good measure, she pulls the tarp over it all and secures it down. One less thing to do in the morning, though the blond would surely drag her feet about returning if not for one major detail.


There is no stopping her from worrying about him. Being with the Flock seems to eat away at his humanity, tearing his mind down and creating a knotted mess of a man. There were none that could be trusted there, and no friends to turn to. The two, despite their positions, are isolated. Quinn can only hope that he will find momentary solace in her return.

God, she misses him.

Going into her own cabin, Quinn turns on the lights and changes into a pair of shorts and a t-shirt. The bottle of wine would be opened, a glass poured, and she would sit upon her sofa to drink in silent reflection upon her life. It hadn't turned out at all like she thought it would, but she can't say that she is at all disappointed.

And there, as she sips her way to the halfway point of her second glass in utter silence, the rustle of the tall grass outside catches her attention. It isn't just a rustle, but something far more distinct. Like steps taken, slow with caution and purpose.

Narrowing her eyes, Quinn stands, wondering if maybe Gideon decided to come out as well. She peeks out the window, only to see nothing but blackness. But that is when she sees it.

The door to the kitchen, usually securely shut, left ajar.

There is a moment's panic, and Quinn is unsure of what to do. Calling Gideon would be useless. He's too far, and if this has anything to do with his father, they likely have him as well. That would only tell John Abernathy that she is right where wants her.

This might be the most irrational decision she has ever made.


"Detective Weston," the sweet, panicked whisper of Quinn would immediately sound upon his picking up the phone. "I think there's someone here."
January 27, 2018 07:30 pm

Weston Norse

Wes was just coming off duty for the evening; it had been a long shift today. Up and at it for 7am, and he hadn’t finished until 9:30pm, hardly ten minutes before. The day had been frustrating, as it usually tended to be lately. More missing persons, few leads. No bodies, at least. Needless to say, he was heading to the liquor store.

It was only after he had exited the store, bourbon in tow, that he felt his phone vibrate inside his pocket. Half expecting it to be the precinct calling him back in, he was mildly relieved to see it was a number he didn’t recognize. Clearing his throat, he brought the phone to his ear.

“Yeah.” Short, but to the point.

“Detective Weston, I think someone’s here.”

It took a moment to process the panicked, feminine whisper, but he managed to place the voice to a face fairly quickly. “Quinn?” He’d stopped walking, now. “Someone’s there? What do you mean, do you need help?” His deep voice held a sharp edge of concern.

After a brief explanation from the other end of the line, he quickly opened the door to his blue Shelby, tossed the bourbon into the passenger’s seat, and started the vehicle with a healthy growl of the engine. “Alright, I’ll be there in fifteen minutes. Just stay quiet and try to find somewhere out of sight.”

Really, the trip out to the boonies should have taken more like a half hour, but Wes had a lead foot and a detective shield.


When he pulled into the long, mostly hidden driveway to the manor, his headlights swept the immediate area. It was deserted, as far as he could see. There were no lights on - not even inside the manor. He parked next to a truck and turned the vehicle off, reaching for his gun a moment later. He didn’t unholster it, but he did flip the safety off.

He got out of the car and listened carefully, reaching out with his considerable senses. There were plenty of downsides to being a Lycan, but there were a couple of nice upsides as well. Excellent night vision, heightened sense of smell and hearing, and a heavy punch weren’t exactly a detriment in his line of work.

Wes moved quickly and quietly around the property, circling around to Quinn’s cabin. He saw the door to the kitchen he had been in just a few days prior was hanging open, and he ducked inside for a moment. There was no sign of any unwelcome visitors, so he exited the small shack, shutting the door behind him.

When he reached Quinn’s door, he gave a couple of light knocks and called out loud enough for her to hear. “Quinn? It’s Wes.”
January 28, 2018 07:44 pm

Quinn Abernathy

"The kitchen. Someone is in the kitchen."

Seconds later, the call is cut short and Weston is on the way. He'd given instructions, but there isn't much that Quinn can do. Stay quiet, sure. But find somewhere out of sight? Where could she possibly achieve that in this tiny little space?

If it's the cult... she's done, no matter what. They will find her, drag her back, and come morning - she will be gutted on that stage for some sort of crime she didn't commit. And Gideon would either be beside her, watching her, already dead, or worse. No. She can't think that way.

But she is.

At a quick rate, Quinn's mind unravels and the girl finds herself in tears. Never once has she come to realize just how much her current situation has altered her mind. Not even now, as nightmare after nightmare crosses her mind.

She would stay there, locked up in her own thoughts, until a soft knock pulls her to reality. Quinn holds her breath, listening carefully until she hears her name from a familiar voice. Exhaling, but only slightly relieved, she stands and creeps to the door to crack it up and move aside for him to come in.

Upon entering, he would see a single room. A sofa, a bookcase, a bed in the far corner. A fireplace remains unused, needless due to the heat of New Orleans. And, beside the dresser, the door to what can only be the bathroom. In the center of it all, a round, woven rug that looks like it was made by several old articles of clothing.

Scattered upon the coffee table that sits before the sofa are pictures of various people, clearly taken with care and a watchful eye. While Quinn's camera remains in the Abernathy house along with most of her photographs and supplies, some stayed behind. Her favorites, to be exact.

"Someone was out there," she sniffs, clearly upset as she mumbles in a barely pacified tone. There is nothing more she wants to do than to return to the compound, but right now, Quinn understands that to be out of the question. Even if things were fine, Gideon would drill her about her promises to keep herself safe.

"I heard them walking and then I saw the kitchen door is open and I didn't know what to do."
January 28, 2018 08:26 pm

Weston Norse

As the door swung open, the expression on Quinn’s face made him think for a moment that something had actually happened to her. It was obvious that she had been crying for some time, and the image she presented triggered his protective instincts. Concern darkened his expression, and before she can say a word, he steps inside. “Are you alright?”

“Someone was out there. I heard them walking and then I saw the kitchen door is open and I didn't know what to do."

Her voice, thick with tears, held no lies. The girl had been terrified. Shutting the door behind him, Wes moved to her side. “I saw the door open, and I checked it out. There wasn’t anyone there, and it didn’t look like anything was out of place. Are you sure it wasn’t just one of the other people who live in the main house?”

It struck him as a little strange that she would jump to the conclusion that there was an intruder so quickly, especially since there were others that came and went from the property. However, that didn’t change the fact that she’d been spooked, badly. He intended to make sure she felt safe before he left, even if there hadn’t been anything to worry about in the first place.
January 28, 2018 09:37 pm

Quinn Abernathy

She shakes her head, a puff of a breath escaping her. Quinn reserves herself from going into a full panic, from crying and screaming about this isn't to do with moving things or theft - it is about terror. It's about putting her in her place, or putting an end to herself and Gideon altogether. This is, in her mind, a mental game. And she is losing.

But she doesn't. She holds her tongue. Instead, the girl remains as calm as she can under these circumstances. If he hasn't heard of the Flock yet, she doesn't want to tell him. And if he has, Quinn does not want to open herself to the sort of questions that would come with it.

"No one comes over here..." Having been old slave quarters for the plantation, the owners wanted them that perfect distance from the house. Not too close, but not too far. No one ever notices the buildings, as they are just far enough away to be either not worth it, or out of sight. And once they find out the truth behind them, they stay far away.

Either way, it is quite clear that she is isolated, no matter the intention behind the free-standing kitchen across the way for the two tiny, residential structures.

Her gaze lowers, and Quinn moves to swipe away any residual tears with a delicate right hand before covering her eyes with her hand. For as kind as Weston is, and how much better she feels, no one can make her feel safe... except Gideon.

"The way they walked," her hand slides up to push her hair back from her face, shoulders curling in discomfort.
January 29, 2018 11:30 am

Weston Norse

It was clear that Quinn would not be talked down so easily. She was frightened, and convinced that someone had been out there. He had no way to deny that to her, except to assure her that nobody was around now.

She pushed her hands through cornsilk hair, every tiny movement full of tension. Above her reddened nose, chocolate eyes still welled with unshed tears. It surprised him how much he wanted to hug the girl in that moment, though he resisted the impulse. It would have been presumptuous in the extreme.

“Quinn, I did a good lap around the property before I got to your door. Nobody is out there. Not even in the manor, as far as I saw.”

A hand came up to scratch at the stubble at his jaw, scruffy enough to be threatening the emergence of a beard. He could tell that his words hadn’t exactly helped.

“If you want, I can take you somewhere else? I could drive you into town and get you a hotel or something?”
January 29, 2018 11:47 am

Quinn Abernathy

No matter what she heard, Quinn knows there is nothing she can do now. And, if it is what she thinks, no amount of movement would save her from the inevitable. Surveillance, or worse, she would never be able to hide. Another gentle shake of her head, and Quinn refuses the offer made.

"Thank you, but no."

Pressing her lips together, there is a decision to be made. Tell the Detective everything, or play her part as Gideon would expect. "It... it'd be silly. No one is here now, and... I'm not used to being alone anymore. Not like this. I'm hardly ever here. Plus I had wine."

Excuses: She's got them. Quinn is, apparently, rationalizing herself and decision to stay. No matter how scared or scarred she may be, part of her is telling herself it is okay just as much as she is, him.

"I didn't see them. It could have been anything. ..Right?"

Blinking, she turns a hopeful gaze upon the man. Please make this easy. Please make it better.
January 29, 2018 12:06 pm

Weston Norse

It honestly surprised him that she refused his offer. He wouldn’t have minded getting her a hotel, and she seemed too riled up to be comfortable here tonight. But… well, he’d given her an out.

Nodding slowly, he accepted her reply. “I wouldn’t say silly... if you’re uncomfortable here alone, then it is what it is. But if you’re sure you want to stay.”

“I didn’t see them. It could have been anything. ..Right?”

The hopeful note in her voice gave her away. She didn’t really believe that it could have been just anything. It was almost like she knew what had been outside.

If that were the case, then there was little he could do without an explanation from her.

“Yeah. Maybe it was a gator smelling those pizza rolls?”

He saw the half-empty wine bottle sitting on the coffee table just around the corner, and he smiled a little to himself. “I had the same idea as you. I’d just bought a bottle of bourbon to keep me company for the night when you called.”

Wes could feel the time for him to take his leave looming over their conversation, but it didn’t feel right to just leave her here like this. There was no way she was going to get a wink of sleep tonight. He didn’t want to come across as impertinent, but…

“ know, if you want, I could just hang out here with you for a little while until you get rid of the jitters? I just don’t feel right leaving you out here alone when I know you’re still worried.”
January 29, 2018 12:24 pm

Quinn Abernathy

Quinn wishes she had a smile in her at his reply, she really does. She knows the creatures don't come around the property, except on rare days she has yet to be part of. So instead, she gives him a small nod, arms crossing once more. He takes the lead in the conversation, telling her about his bourbon as he notes the open bottle on the table, and things seem to be coming to an awkward close.


Bowing her head slightly, she thinks it over. If it is what she thinks it is, then Gideon is in trouble. If she gets in trouble, there is no way for her to get to him come morning. If it isn't... no harm, right? But her best option, for the sake of herself and her husband, is to agree.

But is this what Gideon would want? Probably not. He'd want her to run. But she can't.

Quinn nods once, before giving it a full couple of nods in agreement, as if she has come to some better senses. And, in an attempt to drive the focus away from whatever might be outside, she finally pipes up.

"Would you like a glass? It's not bourbon, but..."
January 29, 2018 01:08 pm

Weston Norse

"Would you like a glass? It's not bourbon, but..."

At her seal of approval, a gracious smile appeared on his face. It had felt a little strange to make that offer to her because, really, they only knew each other in a professional capacity, but Wes wasn’t the type who had difficulty making friends. Sure he was rough around the edges, but he exuded a calm confidence. It had propelled him to positions of leadership in his career, and had steadfastly earned the trust of close friends.

With Quinn’s offer of a glass of wine, he shook his head with a short laugh. “No thanks, I’ll just grab the bottle out of my car. If you care to switch to something a little stronger, I sure don’t mind sharing.”

A short jaunt outside, and he returned quickly with a bottle of Knob Creek in hand. The amber liquid sloshed as he walked, making his way toward the other side of the small room. He’d spotted a small stack of glasses on top of the dresser, and made the fair assumption that he was welcome to them.

He grabbed two, in case Quinn wanted to have something with a little more kick.

Setting the glasses down on the coffee table, he poured a glass for himself. “This place is nice and everything, but man. It gives me the creeps. I’m pretty sure this place used to be a slave plantation, you know. I’m not surprised that you get jumpy, especially out here alone. And, for that matter, why are you alone to begin with?”

It was puzzling. A woman like Quinn had no reason to be lonely.

He gestured to the other glass, the bottle of Knob Creek hovering above it. “Want a shot?”
January 29, 2018 01:49 pm

Quinn Abernathy

In the time it takes Weston to go to his car and return, Quinn has taken a seat on the sofa, her back pressed against the arm and a single leg tucked beneath her. Her glass of wine is refilled, and cradled in both hands. Upon his return, she watches him move about her small space on his own accord. To this, she is grateful. She'd been so rattled, she didn't think to offer him a glass.

And he talks. She's amazed, really, at how easy it is for him to start a conversation under the pretense of jitters. "Help yourself, Detective..." she offers him a seat on the sofa, having left plenty of room for the man.

His questions, however, are somewhat difficult. But she would start with the easiest, and work her way down, as she shakes her head at his offer. "I'll stick to the wine for now, thanks."

A sip of wine, and she begins. "This was a plantation. And these buildings.. well.. these were the slave quarters. Obviously, they've been turned around, and a few were knocked down because they weren't structurally sound... but. The quiet over here, compared to the house, is nice. And it never scared me to be here."

She hopes, she prays, that is satisfactory. The one rule of Gideon is that she must never talk to him, especially not to authorities. There is no trail on the man, and as far as they know, he doesn't even exist. Quinn would do her part in maintaining that, especially given conversations they'd had about his inevitable capture at some point in their life together.

Maybe, just maybe, she could skirt the question of company entirely.

"Now I'm only here every couple of weeks, to visit. I moved a ways outside of New Orleans." And, just to turn the conversation away from herself, she tries to ask a question of her own. "Where're you from, Detective? You're not Southern, that's for sure."
January 29, 2018 02:10 pm

Weston Norse

Wes took the offered seat beside Quinn, her petite form curled up comfortably within arms reach. Everything about this shack was far too small for Weston, a man easily an inch or two above six feet, but it really was perfect for Quinn. She was demure in stature and had given the impression of a woman with simple tastes.

Sipping at the amber liquid, Wes listened as she confirmed his suspicion that this had indeed been a slave plantation, a fact that pulled a disturbed grimace from him. “Ugh. Speak for yourself, I’d never be able to stay here alone. This place is probably haunted. But, I guess if you don’t really put stock in that sort of thing, then I suppose the quiet could be nice.”

Wes did put stock in ghosts, of course. Mainly because he knew a great many of those horror stories to be true. He himself was a living testament to a facet of their truth.

“Where’re you from, Detective? You’re not Southern, that’s for sure.”

He allowed her to steer the conversation to a topic besides herself, a deep chuckle forming as he took another sip from his glass. “Oh no, I’m actually a Cali kid. Me and my brother took off from our hometown pretty young. We were both always sort of restless people, and we stuck together for a while, but ended up settling in different parts. I landed in New Orleans because it’s anything but ordinary. I’m never bored, you know?”

Having finished off his first glass quickly, he set it down on the coffee table to pour himself another. “What about you? You’re definitely not from around here. You’re too sweet to come from a town as cutthroat as this one.”
February 03, 2018 03:06 pm

Quinn Abernathy

"California? And you chose New Orleans? That's a big change of pace." He says he is never bored, and she is sure that he is right. Partially grateful, Quinn is sure that he must be too busy to be logging her call for help. He'd discount it, surely. It gives her some sort of comfort.

Watching and listening, she sips on her wine as he fields his own observations. Sweet. If only he knew. She used to be sweet, and clean. But now? Quinn feels as though she has completely lost herself. She's killed people. She feeds people lies every day, and it is something she has to do to survive. Even still, it isn't her. It's not what is in her heart.

"Um... I grew up in Pennsylvania. Small town. Moved to the city, then upstate. And then I came here," a hint of a smile finally graces her features. There is a little bit of a embarrassment as she makes a confession. "I actually joined Tinder to make friends. That's how I met Ella."

Another sip of wine, and for a split second, she allows herself to forget everything else. Whomever is out there, because she has convinced herself there is someone, wouldn't go up against the unknown. It's not easy. Quinn, for the moment, is safe. "You know, before we tore down the other buildings that were over here, I was walking in one and my foot went straight through a false floorboard. There was a doll in there."

The memory, while sounding completely creepy, calms her nerves. It brings back memories of better times, before all the crazy. Her frame relaxes just a bit, and Quinn takes another sip. "What made you think of New Orleans? Sure, it's different, and exciting, and kind of dangerous... but... there are a lot of places like that. Did you know anyone before moving here? What made you decide on this? I'd always wanted to see the place. I love ghost stories and stuff. But meeting Ella kept me here."
February 03, 2018 04:00 pm

Weston Norse

A thick brow is raised at her statement, and he smirks over the rim of his glass. “Tinder? Has anyone told you that it’s not really just for friends?” He laughed, “I think there’s a chance you may have disappointed a few people with that news.”

“You know, before we tore down the other buildings that were over here, I was walking in one and my foot went straight through a false floorboard. There was a doll in there.”

Weston’s face was the very picture of shook.

“...and you didn’t burn down the entire plantation?”

They didn’t. And not only was the manor not a pile of ashes, but the crazy girl was sleeping in what was once the slave quarters. Idly, he wondered if she enjoyed horror movies. Maybe he could take her to one sometime.

Somehow, talking about finding what was almost certainly some kind of voodoo doll managed to drain some of the tension from her slight frame. Weird. Cute, but weird.

Quinn once again steers the conversation back toward him, and he doesn’t think anything of it. He took a sip from his glass, thinking on how best to answer her myriad of questions. “Honestly, I came here because of a girl.” He chuckled, self deprecating. “It was a few years back now, and I followed her out here from Colorado, where me and my brother had been. It was pretty gross; I was like a lovesick little puppy, and I would’ve done anything she asked. Obviously, she asked me to come here with her, and we were happy for a while.”

He finished off his drink and rolled his eyes. “But then I found out that she’d had quite the string of lovers for almost the entirety of our relationship, and that was that.” He gave a derisive huff of laughter. “You’d think that me, a detective, would’ve caught on to that sort of game.”
February 11, 2018 12:15 pm

Quinn Abernathy

He laughs, and it lifts a sincere weight from her small shoulders. Quinn cannot help the smile that appears, however minute, nor the quiet laugh that follows. "I've heard it a few times, yea."

The conversation continues, and he asks about burning down the plantation. Eyes widening, she shakes her head, "No way! There's so much history here!"

She doesn't get that he might not be completely serious. Nor does she think about the fact that they definitely took history and flipped it completely. Renovating these tiny buildings had not be very respectful of the history here, but if anyone were to call her out - the answer would be very Quinn.

But, as he tells his story of the girl he'd do anything for, Quinn is listening with rapt attention. Several sips of wine are had, and she hangs onto every word. In the end, she is chewing at her lip as those big brown eyes peer at him in thought. "I think you loved her a lot."

Quinn presses her lips together for a second, considering her words carefully. "You could be a detective, or a mailman, or... anything. But when you love someone, you trust them. You'd do anything for them, and you overlook all the little things that make them imperfect because to you, they are perfect."

Realizing she had begun to chatter on a deeper level, Quinn looks down at her drink. A sip is taken, and any trace of a smile is gone. "It's only when they betray you, that you take a closer look."

She lifts her gaze to Weston, a perfect shade of chocolaty brown, and she leans forward where she sits even just slightly. "You should really give yourself some credit, Detective."
February 11, 2018 05:58 pm
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