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Two Birds, No Stone.



 
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Noli Joudain

A month had passed since her sister's odd disappearance and Noli had thought there would be far more to go on in that span of time, but when you're not part of law enforcement or have any kind of power at all to force information from possible witnesses, information doesn't come that easy. At first it was the dozens of rental car agencies that went almost as well as the numerous four-star hotels, to be fair it was a little easier with Emeline than it would have been with normal people, she would only drive flashy cars and only stay in the hotels with certain amenities.

Not that any of that was even the slightest bit helpful to Noli.

It had been a month of travelling, a month of long nights and early mornings; back and forth from her home had become exhausting and if she was honest with herself, Noli would have to say all of it was starting to cause more than a little discouragement. It didn't help that she was seeing her sister in every blonde she passed on the street, quite a few times the young woman would have apologize to some stranger for interrupting their day; this on top of her parents, brother, and apparently her serve and protect uncle ignoring her phone calls, had managed to cause the brunette to work herself up into a tizzy.

It was true, despite her meek demeanor, Magnolia Belle had a bit of a temper; this temper was exasperated further by an article in a newspaper about missing people all over New Orleans and the one commonality and this left her with only one presumption when it came to the reason Captain Joudain had refused her calls.

Circle the wagons, protect their own.
He could avoid her calls, that was true.

But when she had her bottom firmly planted outside of his office, it was a little harder to do.

Sunglasses firmly placed worked twofold, she could watch people and keep her odd eyes hidden to anyone that got a little too nosy about someone practically camping for hours outside a member of the force's office; she would always see herself as nondescript, nothing to write home about but those eyes. People remember them and with the way she was feeling, Noli didn't need anyone but her Nonc to remember her today.

It had been years since she had seen most of her Joudain family, it wasn't like they socialized, so when the large man walked right passed her, Noli didn't really take offense, in fact, a small turn of her lips graced her face as she stood and watched the whispered exchange of the hellhound guarding the gates and her absentee family member before a pointed look had the man lock his gaze onto hers. Shock, anger, and then a placidness moved over uncle's face before his boisterous tone reached her ears.

And everyone else.
So much for anonymity.

"Magnolia Belle, gel it's been a dog's age. Last time I saw you, you were knee high to a grasshopper. Now, I know you've been trying to reach me, but it stays busy here, not like that sleepy little town you call home. Can't fault me for putting you off, now, we know your sister isn't the best decision maker, she'll show up. Now, why don't you get to gettin' to your Tante 'Lalie's, she's looking forward to fattening you up. Why, you're nothing but a rack of bones."

It was almost like time slowed down; it could have been the embarrassment reddening her face or the temper rising that caused such a delightful rosy flush, really it didn't matter, all that mattered was Noli was standing, fingers clinching the paper she clung to as proof that something weird was going on. It seemed like lately, Ms. Joudain was struggling with being truthful with herself, and this was one of those times; she was downright sick to death of her family.

Clearly, however, her eagle-eyed uncle was far more perceptive than she would have thought, but she would have to assume he didn't rise through the ranks without some kind of redeeming quality fit for his chosen profession. Granted, if the newspaper was correct, anyone could be an officer of the law even if they make people disappear, but she wouldn't get her words edgewise, with her loud relative continuing on to prevent her from doing so.

And taking her glasses, to boot.

"As I live and breathe, you are the mirror image of my mama and your namesake, your daddy said so last I gabbed with him but had to see it with my own eyes. Belle Joudain was famous in our parts and sure liked to show off them eyes, guessin' you're not too keen on that, huh?"

Noli knew she was the only one in the family to inherit the sectoral heterochromia, she also knew that her tall, lanky frame and dark tresses were from the Joudain side; hard not to miss that growing up with two towheaded siblings that looked nothing like her. She wanted to run, Noli hated being the center of attention and she could feel eyes boring into her, but with the meaty hands of her dear Uncle Rene digging into her arms, it made it impossible.

"I realize I look like Grandmere and no, I really don't like flashing my oddity around. I also don't like being ignored." Usually, the slight southern accent Noli possessed would give her words a sweet tenor, something that was lovingly used when she was teaching as was the cooler, flat tone that escaped from her mouth now but it was rare, almost as rare as the rapid, growing louder speech that would follow.

"My sister is MISSING and you, you blame her? Is that easier than investigating one of YOUR OWN? I read the newspaper, this article said that lots are missing and this Weston Norse connects theee..m." A squealing last word was not how she wanted to end her tirade, it could have been more eloquent but those fingers that dug into her arms tightened the moment she started in on that article and before she could finish she was not so politely dragged into her uncle's office with a door slamming as final punctuation on her not so articulate speech, nor was the shoving into an empty chair or hollering she was having to now endure.

At least she wasn't being ignored now.
March 14, 2018 02:13 pm

Weston Norse

Weston’s week had been one for the books, and it was just starting. From yet another missing person, making it a grand total of thirteen that they knew of, to a little sh!tstain of a reporter crawling up his ass to make his life a living hell, an apartment that absolutely stank of weed thanks to his brother, and to top it off, a sinister hangover. The last bit was his own fault, but drinking himself into oblivion the night before was the only way he could sleep.

He walked into the precinct very late, a gigantic styrofoam cup of steaming black coffee and a brown paper bag filled with a greasy breakfast sandwich in tow, entirely missing the unfamiliar woman sat outside Captain Joudain’s office.

He’d already been warned by his doctor (whom he visited once every handful of years, and regretted every time) that he needed to stop smoking, cut the caffeine, and eat better. That sort of hippie sh!t was for people who had things to worry about like their f*cking gluten intolerance and what sort of crystals would clear their chakras and all that asinine bullsh!t.

Cursing the fluorescent lighting, the phone that wouldn’t stop ringing as he reached his desk, and most particularly, himself, Wes sat down heavily at his desk in the midst of the bullpen and ignored it all in favor of his sausage egg biscuit mess.

He’d been finished with his breakfast for about twenty minutes and was well into checking his messages when he heard the Captain’s booming voice coming from the direction of his office. He wasn’t particularly interested in eavesdropping, but it was hard not to with the way his voice carried.

What he did accidentally pick up already exhausted him. It sounded like yet another person was missing. However, it sounded like something of a family matter, and the Cap was blowing it off. Wes put his phone down and commenced to rubbing his temples, unable to multitask with the throbbing behind his eyes.

He’d mostly tuned out the rest of the conversation until he heard a steadily rising female voice say his name. Not just his name, but shouting about his connection to the missing. A vein in his forehead was already close to popping before that.

In too much of a sh!t mood to ignore the shot aimed at him, he stood up from his desk to target his accuser, though she’d been summarily hauled into the Captain’s office. This didn’t slow him down. He stormed through the precinct until he reached the Captain’s door, well aware that the woman was already being dealt with, but too triggered to stop himself.

He was being threatened with surveillance because of that f*cking article. He might even get thrown off the entire case because of it. The chance to snap back at an accuser, to defend himself, was too tempting.

He did that classic mom thing - he knocked on the Captain’s door while coming in. Locking livid, steely blues onto the small brunette sitting across from the Captain’s desk, he let her have it.

“Hey. I’m Detective Norse.” He walked right up to where she sat and snatched the newspaper right out of her hands before brandishing it like garbage.

“That article you read? It’s bullsh!t. Inflammatory, money grabbing trash. I’m the one out there trying to find these people, and you put your trust in a tiny, sh!tty article written by some @sshhole who just wants to sell papers? I’m out there every day looking for them. It’s my fvcking job. If you want to come in here to complain about me, how about you do it to my face. Huh? Come on, let me have it.”
March 31, 2018 09:51 pm

Noli Joudain

Being berated by her uncle wasn't something new; but being scolded by Captain Joudain on police procedure, that was different. Noli didn't really come here to be yelled at about police business or what an egregious error she made by announcing to all of sundry that she is claiming cover-up.

And one thing Noli should know better than to do is come at her family of cops with that kind of thing.

Egregious didn't even cover it.
She would never hear the end of this.

It may have seemed like an eternity for the booming voice to warp into the nagging 'wah wah' noise from Charlie Brown, but in actuality it was mere minutes; only changing when a new voice interrupted them and suddenly she was staring at empty hands where the newspaper and fliers she had printed up were ripped from her grasp by an extremely irate detective.

If you want to come in here to complain about me, how about you do it to my face. Huh? Come on, let me have it.

Magnolia wanted to scream.
Two on one and the odds were against her.

"Don't."

But it wouldn't stop her hands from tightening on the arms of the chair she was dropped unceremoniously into and pushing herself upward before the gruff voice of her uncle would stop her; her bottom would fall right back into her seat and her narrowed eyes remained locked on the seemingly amused Captain.

"Detective Norse, how good of you to join us. It's saved me a phone call. I have a meeting with the Deputy Chiefs and Commander to make sure you stay on the missing cases, a bit of interference to run because of this godd*mn article that has put a thorn in everyone's side. My niece will fill you in."

A pointed look and a wry grin was passed toward Noli; nope, she would never live it down. She was going to be haunted by the recklessness of storming into a police department while brandishing nothing but a gut feeling and a reporter apparently on a slanderous mission against the Detective. She could only attempt to defend herself, she wasn't in her right mind, completely at a loss because of her sister, but that would only lead to opening her mouth and snapping it shut with another word from her uncle.

"Wait."

She had been waiting for a month; what the hell was a few more minutes in the long run.

Her eyes would never leave her uncle's roaming frame as he prepared to apparently leave her in the hands of this shouting, ill-tempered, shrewish male; Noli wasn't being very fair to someone she didn't know and normally that wouldn't sit well with her, she was not this way but being yelled at twice by two overbearing men, her day was not going the way she wanted.

Even worse, she could smell the greasy breakfast and coffee emanating from Detective and it was making her have villainous thoughts to everyone she had ever met; the brunette was downright hangry.

"I trust him, Magnolia. Best you do the same. You can use my office, Norse. Play nice, children." It probably didn't help her mood that as her uncle was leaving her to deal with the same man she just accused, but the laughter, that was not needed.

It would piss her off though, but before she could get on her feet and take out that anger on the only other person left in the room, the door to the office flew back open with glaring uncle staring her down and his hand out. "Give it over. I know you're not dumb enough to break the law even with your carry, but you won't walk around without something and I'm not going to be responsible for you sticking someone under my command."

Rolling her eyes and muttering about not being far enough gone that she'd stab someone, Noli's fingers would jerk up the denim to slide the blade from her boot and slap it into the outstretched hand. "You can get it back when you show up for supper, you can even bring the Detective here, a busman's holiday as it were."

"You can stop with your meddlin', Nonc."
"No."

Only laughter and then a jaunty little ditty whistled would follow the closed door and then silence; it would leave Noli feeling a little unprepared seeing as most of her anger had disappeared with her uncle's diatribe, but she was sure she could muster up a little bit of something. Especially once her strange eyes fell onto the paper curled up in his fingers; it was the newspaper but the meticulously done missing posters she had religiously shoved in people's faces that had her waning temper flare up again.

"You owe me two dollars for the paper." Okay, so that was a lame start, but who could blame her; it wasn't a normal thing being backed into a corner by a person she practically accused of a crime, never mind that it was a cop. Her biggest mistake was lifting her multicolored orbs to stare daggers; despite his raging and the hard look into his eyes, they were kind.

So, Quinn may have been right. No one had to know the brunette sensed that and that's exactly how it would be.

"I... hmm." This was problematic. Noli would move passed the man and behind the desk; opening and closing drawers until she smiled when she found what she was looking for, along with an unopened bottle water from the mini-fridge. She could almost feel the throbbing coming off of him in waves and despite the fact that she would like nothing more than to yell back at him; Magnolia Belle was a nurturer.

Hence, the bottle of headache relief and water outstretched toward him.
And quite possibly the oddest thing of all, was her need to help him while still being salty.

"You are not at all kind. Quinn was sooo wrong."
April 04, 2018 03:51 pm

Weston Norse

“My niece will fill you in.”

Niece.

Whoops. For an instant, his career flashed before his eyes, but it quickly became apparent that the Captain was entirely on his side, family be damned. Harsh. But good news for Wes.

"I trust him, Magnolia. Best you do the same. You can use my office, Norse. Play nice, children."

Wes had deflated slightly as he recovered from the realization that he’d just shouted at his boss’ niece in front of him, but that didn’t keep him from realizing that he was probably about to take some fire in return. There was a spark of ire in her eyes that didn’t seem to settle, even after he and her uncle had knocked her down a good few pegs.

However, before she had a chance to do a damn thing, the Captain stuck his head back into the room and demanded that she disarm, while simultaneously inviting them both to dinner. Wes’ arms crossed, eyes rolling at the situation. He was clearly unruffled by the fact that she kept herself armed.

“Thanks, Cap.”

The door shut behind the eccentric man, and they were alone. Wes fully expected an explosive outburst from the woman, and he was p!ssed off enough to jump back into it as well. Being angry at an article wasn’t helpful; he had nobody to take it out on, save for the people who put stock in it.

Her eyes fell to the paper he still grasped in his hand, and it was enough to make her speak.

“You owe me two dollars for the paper.”

He raised a brow at that statement, and her eyes defiantly locked with his. It was here that he noticed - her eyes were different colors. Very different.

Wes wasn’t entirely sure why, but it seemed that the last of any effective anger drained from her. She moved past him to the Captain’s desk and began rifling through drawers until she found what she wanted, pilfering a bottle of water from his mini fridge as well.

She offered them to him in outstretched hands, and he couldn’t help the huff of annoyed amusement as he saw what it was - headache relief. He really must have looked like sh!t.

Setting down the paper upon the desk, he took the items from her and popped the bottle of pills open. “Is it that obvious?”

"You are not at all kind. Quinn was sooo wrong."

Wes blinked, leveling a flat stare at the brunette as he took a swig from the water bottle, washing the pill down. She knew Quinn? They talked about him?

Eh. There were worse things than having women gossip about him.

“Well Magnolia, Quinn didn’t show up to my job and accuse me of a crime. If she had, I can guarantee you that she wouldn’t think I’m very nice either.”

As an afterthought, he went ahead and swallowed another pill. For good measure.

As he washed it down with the rest of the water, his eyes fell upon the newspaper that he’d managed to crumple. It wasn’t just the newspaper, but also homemade flyers. Missing person flyers. Brows cinching, he stepped forward and pulled one from the crinkled mess.

Blue eyes moved across the page before raising to gauge Magnolia’s expression. He lifted the flyer slightly. “This is why you’re here?”
April 25, 2018 12:45 pm

Noli Joudain

Relieved of the two bottles, Noli would watch the detective impassively, albeit the same disinterested look would not quite take the fire out of her odd hazel eyes. She was still thoroughly ticked, however, not exactly at the other occupant in the room; no, Magnolia Belle had a list and he was the one name that wouldn't be on it, at least for now.

The yelling, she deserved it.
She couldn't fault him for that.

Had someone walked into her workplace and threw around accusations, quite loudly, without substantial proof; yeah, the brunette would have likely acted just as he did.

Probably worse.

She did have a temper when pressed.

For now, she would keep her gaze on him while simultaneously cursing the Joudain clan for putting her into this position at all; her parents, Emeline, her uncle and cousins. They had all played a part and she was the one suffering for it; no matter if it was her choice to push this, to find her sister, because no matter what the rest believed of Emi, Noli knew the truth.

She was a terrible sister, probably an even worse person. But she was still missing, taken, gone.

And Noli was left overthinking her own overthinking.

Until he spoke again; to be fair he had already done so when he thanked her uncle but that one she was going to let go; hopefully, it was just a 'thanks for asking' because Noli loved that knife and she really couldn't deal with the entire Joudain clan plus Detective Norse.

Now, she had to accept the fact she was going to buy a replacement blade for her boot.

It was the simple question, 'is it that obvious', that would have her brows furrowed; well, she certainly couldn't answer that one honestly.

"Obvious. Yeah, sure." She'd dip her chin, some semblance of a nod to accompany the words that didn't flow as easily as her earlier tirade; something about strangers, especially ones she was compelled to trust, really made it difficult for her to lie to.

Quinn was different. Noli couldn't exactly say, 'I dumped a body in the bayou' to someone in law enforcement.

This was going to be one the hardest conversations in her life.

"I only get called Magnolia when my family is angry at me, I mean, I know you're angry but not family, so maybe you could just not call me that, please call me Noli. And of course, you're correct, I'm not this way, I would have never come in here and threw your name around had I known you were actually here. Well, I shouldn't do that at all and normally wouldn't but you see, I know how to push your captain's buttons and one way is to question his people. It worked, better than I thought and now you're here stuck with me and quite angry, I suppose. Anyway... Quinn, is the only person I trust, a good friend and she says you helped her and clearly Nonc trust you, so I should as well. Right? Right."

She would leave out the fact she had only just met Quinn.
It wasn't important. Really.

And the babbling. That had to stop.

It wasn't so much as nervousness, well, if Noli was lying to herself again, it wouldn't be. It was, completely. She had planned to deal with her uncle, not the detective she basically said was dirty. While he deciphered her first round of rapid yammering, her eyes would fall on the desk where the papers now rested; the newspaper meant nothing, but those flyers, they were everything, including the one he waved about disrespectfully, or just lifted but Magnolia's brain was still trying to find a reason to not like the detective.

The rest of the pile, she would snatch and cradle to her chest before she lifted her gaze to his; it seemed that they were both pretty much sizing one another up, the only difference was he was blocking her get away if her mouth gave away everything locked behind wary eyes.

"My sister, Emeline. My family pretty much thinks she's Satan; well, that's not the word they all use, actually they use a multitude of words that are neither pretty or forgiving. But she's still my sister... though she might also be Satan. She went missing during Mardi Gras... well, Ash Wednesday. She was supposed to call when she got back to N'awlins after I made her leave my house..."

Her mouth made an audible click as it slammed shut; probably gave too much in her run on chatter, certainly didn't want questions coming up as to why she kicked her sister out at five in the morning, but she couldn't swallow the words back up.

Only move on.

The flyers in her hand, she would lay across the desk in front her; fingers trying to smooth out the crinkles that ran along the smiling blonde's picture as the brunette tilted the multicolored orbs back to the detective.

"She's really quite beautiful, isn't she?"

Even if she is Satan.
April 30, 2018 11:35 am
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