Nicole is sitting at the front desk, staring at her own reflection in the darkened computer screen in front of her and has been for quite some time. She strokes a hand over her flame colored hair trying to smooth out the little fly-aways from her braid. She notices the dark circles that have formed under her eyes. She licks her dry lips, hoping the moisture would give them a little depth and color. She is sort of mesmerized by the way the light catches her eyes. That little glint in her deep brown eyes makes her think of Waverly's eyes. Those eyes that changed color depending on her mood. Sometimes they were brown with gold flecks, sometimes green with grey streaks or somewhere in between. Nicole longs to look deep into them, to stare into Waverly Earp. Nicole snaps her head up at the sound of her name.
"Officer Haught, could you come in here," Sheriff Nedley asks loudly from his office. Nicole looks down and notices a report she had been trying to finish all evening. She realizes all that is missing is her signature. She signs her name to the report and gets up, stretching her long arms wide, trying to shake of the tired feeling she's had all evening. She straightens her uniform a bit before walking over to her boss' office.
Arriving at his doorway, Nicole notices how haggered Nedley looks and wonders if she looks just as tired. Trying to pep herself up, she beams her best dimpled smile and says "Yes, Sir," hoping she looked genuinely pleased to be there.
"I'm gonna need you to go out on patrol for a while. I just got word from Susan and Brad that they're gonna be hung up out at Tatenhill for a while, seems the family just disappeared and there's definitely something suspicious about it," Nedley explained.
"Sure thing boss!" Nicole exclaims with maybe a little too much enthusiasm. She knew working as a cop in a small town would get boring sometimes, but she was not going to be able to sit at that desk much longer tonight without falling asleep. She beams a genuine smile at him now and tells him she'd head right out.
She hadn't been sleeping well the last couple of nights, not with her mind racing about all the things she wants to say... and do... to Waverly Earp. The simple crush she developed when she first saw the young Earp is blossoming into something she can't quite put her finger on. Not an obsession, not infatuation, but definitely a preoccupation. She finds herself constantly worrying that she'll never get the chance to be anything more to Waverly than a casual acquaintance or a regular customer at Shorty's, the only bar in town. She finds herself daydreaming all the time about the stunning brunette; her smile, sweet and polite but with mirth hidden underneath; her laugh, sometimes full and boisterous, but also husky and sultry; and her hair, long and wavy, or tied back and straight, or braided in that long fish tail braid draped over one shoulder. Nicole shudders at the vision of running her hands through that hair as it drapes around her face from above. The officer in Nicole forces herself to focus at the task at hand and she snaps herself out of it.
On her way out the station, she refills her to-go coffee cup with the swill in the break room and half jogs towards her cruiser, hoping for a little adventure tonight.
Sitting in her cruiser, Nicole wonders how she ended up down this road on her patrol. She pulls off onto the almost nonexistent shoulder and turns off her headlights, knowing that nobody else would be coming down here at this time of night. The road is a dead end, after all. She realizes she couldn't remember anything about how she got here. Had she driven here specifically, or had she just drifted along on her patrol? She can't remember anything about the last however long... My god, what time is it?... She scolds herself for not knowing how she got there, for driving while distracted. She looks down at the clock on her dash board and realizes she's only been on patrol for about an hour. Her shift wouldn't be up for a little more than two hours, so she settles down a little... At least you didn't miss shift change this time you let you mind wander, because yeah that happened... Twice in the last three weeks... She should have been paying better attention, but every time she was alone her thoughts drifted back to Waverly.
Seeing the brunette in her mind, that first day at Shorty's, took Nicole's breath away again. That cute little smile and wave, the sheepish grin she had when she announced she was "sopping wet," the way her bra peaked out over the split button neckline of her tank top. Everything about Waverly looked just perfect to Nicole. She had turned around to give Waverly an illusion of privacy while she changed her shirt and she couldn't help but to breathe deeply in order to still the rush of excitement and attraction she felt welling up inside. The buttons of Waverly's beer soaked tank top got tangled in her hair on its way over her head, and this left Waverly struggling against the wet fabric. Nicole crossed behind the bar and helped her get free of that tank top and blushed when she saw Waverly blush. That first light touch had nearly driven her to just kiss her right there, first impressions be damned. But she had to be smooth, as always, and politely stepped away once Waverly clasped her arms and tank top in front of her, trying futilely to cover up her almost nakedness. "Uh, I owe you one," Waverly had said, a little shy.
Nicole had replied "Alright, how about you buy me a cup of coffee then? How about tonight?" Good job Nicole, just got keep that up...
Waverly then made that excuse she had heard so many times, "Oh, I can't. I have plans." Seeing the dejected look that crept on Nicole's face she stuttered as she continued, "No. I mean I'd love to, but -like, like to, uh... But I have plans. Yeah. I'm a planner. I like to know what I'm doing at least two or three days in advance." Nicole flashed that winning smile, but her confidence waned again when Waverly blurted out that she was in a relationship with a boy-man.
Jokingly, Nicole had responded, "Yep, I've been there. It's the worst."... Yeah, Nicole, soon she'll be putty in your hands... HA!... She stepped further away from Waverly and regained some of her composure. She started to move toward the door tapping her business card down on the bar, looking back at Waverly to say, "Some other time... I mean it." She slid her white Stetson back onto her head in an effort to make herself feel cool and confident again before she walked through the door and out onto the street.
Forcing her mind back to the present, she stares blankly at the house, the lights are on in two rooms downstairs. She scans her eyes over the homestead, taking in the rest of the house, the barn, a little storage shed and some random debris scattered about on the grounds. She thinks to herself that this place could use some work. The house probably needs a new roof and the exterior could stand to be power-washed and repainted. The debris that is spread out everywhere needed to be picked through and sorted as to what was trash and what wasn't. She wonders, if the outside looks like this, what must be going on inside. Considering how old the house is, it probably needs an overhaul in there too.
Movement catches her eye and she watches as a man appears from around the back of the house and walks determinedly toward the barn. In the few moments he's in view Nicole takes in his appearance, trying to determine whether he might be friend or foe. He seems well dressed in a pair of work slacks and a vest and jacket. He's sporting an old style gambler's hat and Nicole can see his hair poking out from underneath in the back. He quickly disappears through the side door of the barn. Deep in thought, Nicole whispers aloud, "Who's that and why is he over here so late?" After more than a few minutes, Wynonna comes walking out the same door and saunters over to the house, hitching up her skin tight pants a little as she goes. 'Hmmm, that's what he's doing here so late,' Nicole thinks, chuckling to herself. Nicole sees Wynonna's entrance is causing some commotion inside because now there are shadows passing the windows now, but she can't make out who's who in there, through the window's opaque curtains.
One of Nicole favorite songs... Play Along by Sarah Bolen... starts coming through the cruiser's stereo then and she remembers how much she loves and yet hates this playlist on her phone. The song brings up so many thoughts and feelings about the absolute mess she is in over Waverly. The last time she heard it, it made her cry. Just a couple of tears, shed before she could hastily mop them up with her handkerchief and compose herself. Nicole was a lot of things, but she was not a crier.
Coincidentally, Nicole realizes that it is, in fact, Tuesday night, and looking back at the clock Nicole's sees it is about midnight now. She rolls the window down and puts her arm up to sit through the open window, resting her head against her hand. She enjoys the night air, listening to the crickets in the night's stillness. A moth flies in through the window, attracted there by her dash board lights... Ok... That's definitely not creepy at all... Just a coincidence that the lyrics to this song are totally syncing with my whole life right now...
The next lyric takes her by complete surprise, even though she had heard this song so many times before, it punches right into her chest, hard enough that her head slumps back against the headrest. Singing along, Nicole mumbles, "And what do you do when you love someone, who loves someone other than you..." Nicole's gaze snaps back to the house when a light pops on in one of the rooms on the second flood and she watches as two shadows move back and forth in the light coming through that window. She wonders who's bedroom that might be and if it's Waverly's, then who is in her bedroom with her. "Probably Wynonna, but knowing my luck it's Champ," she says out loud, chastising herself for her longing to be the one in there with her.
But in the same thought, she is hopeful about where she and Waverly had been headed before Champ had come over and stolen her away at Shorty's memorial. Holding her hands over Waverly's for just that brief moment had sent a pulse through her that she couldn't deny, all the way to her toes. "Maybe I'll paint you a picture and you can see what I can't say... Maybe if I danced with you your body would translate..." she sings along with the music remembering Waverly reach for out to her even with Champ's arms wrapped around hers... Maybe you've got a chance... "Maybe I should just pack it up and call it all off. Oh baby, maybe I'll reach you if I just play along." She pauses the song not sure she can handle anymore tension, feeling the push and pull of her emotions rocking back and forth like waves... Waves... Oh Waves... "I'm not sure I could let myself leave her even if I wanted to," she says, thinking about that undeniable, invisible connection she fells with this girl... no not just a girl... this woman. "Maybe I'll just do like the song says... play along. Maybe if I just keep waiting she'll realize it's really me she wants. She'll dump Champ and we can go on from there. It does seem like the universe is trying to tell me something." Nicole whispers to herself, shrugging towards the radio... Yeah right Nicole... waiting on the straight (maybe not) woman to figure out her shit always works out... right?
More movement, in what she imagines is Waverly's room, brings Nicole's attention back to reality. Nicole can't stop herself from putting the cruiser into neutral and rolling forward to get a better look. She pulls up closer to the house, but still keeps her car in the shadows outside of the flood lights that surround the homestead.
She turns the music back on, but she lowers the volume not wanting to reveal herself there, watching and waiting... What are you waiting for? I thought you didn't like to wait... "And love hurts... it's like a wreck that's only satisfied when it's met head on. So I'm driving down you freeway tonight without my headlights on..." she laughs to herself, saying "Freeway... driveway… well that's close enough."
Singing along again more softly this time, "Would you rather never know love, spend your life in black, or would you rather only love one person who could never love you back?" She unconsciously allows her patrol car to slip closer and closer to the lights of the homestead. She just wants to be closer to that shy smile, to those beautiful eyes, to that gorgeous, chestnut hair. She notices the curtains in Waverly's room twitch and knows she's busted... Oh shit!... She's slow to put the car in reverse and stops when she sees Waverly open the front door and come out onto the porch.
Nicole freezes at the sight of her, her breath catches hard in her throat. Waverly is only wearing a cut off tank top and some pajama bottoms, with a little blanket thrown over her bare shoulders. Nicole is enamored by the way the blanket is flowing around her body, lapping lightly in the wind. Waverly takes a step further out onto the porch and she puts her hand up to her brow to block her eyes from the light, thus exposing more of her skin than Nicole had seen since that first meeting. That familiar urge to just kiss her takes over again, and she lets the cruiser slowly roll right down into the driveway, into the lights. "What am I doing?" she whispers to herself.
She pulls up pretty close to the porch and puts in the cruiser in park, hesitant to get out... She's just staring at you... You've got to do something or get out of here before you really embarrass yourself... The music is wafting out the car window, and she can't take her eyes off of Waverly standing there, arms now wrapped around herself, attempting to fight off the night's chill. Nicole averts her eyes and takes a deep breath. She turns the volume up a good bit and steps out of the car allowing the music to bolster her. She looks up as she's getting out and meets Waverly's eyes again and the look on the brunette's face pulls her dimpled smile wide across her face. She doesn't take her eyes off Waverly as she makes her approach, singing along "Maybe I'll paint you a picture, so you can see what I can't say... Maybe if I danced with you, your body would translate," wrapping her arms around the now shivering Waverly, who seems to shiver harder with her touch. "Maybe I should just shut up and go home... Was that a shiver or was that a head shake... Oh baby maybe I'll reach you if I just play along..." Nicole finishes singing the line to Waverly, looking down deep into her eyes. Getting lost now, Nicole isn't sure what to do, so she looks away, resting her cheek on top of Waverly's head and just starts swaying back and forth to the music, dancing with Waverly there on the porch. She's sure she catches a twitch from the living room window's curtains but can't seem to pull herself way. Moving a hand up to Waverly's hair, stroking it softly, she realizes that the hands on her hips are moving down... Down, down, down... down to her legs. She gasps as the hands move back up the front of her body and come to rest curled up back against her chest. She becomes a little nauseous from all the stirring in her insides.
Looking back now into Waverly's eyes, astounded at being this close to her, Waverly says "Why don't you come inside? We should talk."