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Appisode 11: 17:00 –Under Their Noses

Previously on Disorderly Conduct: Widower: After catching Frankie Davis at Hamilton O&G, Natalia and Emerson bring him to the precinct for an interview that sparks painful memories for him regarding his dead wife, Xyla. He recalls the night she died and tells the two detectives everything that he can about the case, even though he doesn’t know a lot. Captain Bridges interrupts their interview to tell them news of the utmost importance - they’ve found Jane Paxton.
 

Where have they found Jane, Lee’s or Frankie’s?

Click To Reveal Results
LEE
75%
FRANKIE
25%

17:00 – UNDER THEIR NOSES

“What are you doing?” Emerson asked, looking at Natalia.

“I’m unbuckling my seatbelt, what does it look like, Mackabe?” Natalia replied, looking at him like he’d grown another head. Surely he knew exactly what she was doing?

“Nat…” Emerson began, drawing in a deep breath, “You can’t go in there… You gotta know that, right?”

“What are you talking about?” Natalia asked, raising her eyebrow. He had to be joking… right?

Emerson couldn’t think of a better way to handle the situation, so he regrettably decided on spelling it out for her so she could understand. “You-” he pointed to her. “Are not-” he shook his head and made an X with his two index fingers. “Going in there,” he pointed to the house. “Got it?”

She ground her teeth together in her mouth, Emerson could tell he was definitely about to make her snap. He didn’t care. As long as she was safe like Emerson had been asked to do by Matthew, he was okay with her being angry with him. “Emerson, you can’t do that-” Natalia began, about to go into full protest.

“I can and I am, Nat. Please don’t make this difficult,” Emerson pleaded. “I don’t want you getting hurt. This could get dangerous, and frankly, you’re a liability with your condition.”

My condition?!” Natalia snapped, her voice almost shrill. She looked glaringly at him.

Emerson sighed and immediately regretted his word choice. He closed his eyes and shook his head, “That’s not what I meant-”

“No, no, I get it. Just because you’re bitter and single and not starting a family anytime soon, you don’t get it. I need to be there, Emerson. This is our case, not just yours. And what if something happens to you? Then you’ve got no backup and a murderer gets away. What’ll you do then, huh?” Natalia pressed. She couldn’t believe what was coming out of his mouth! After all they’d been through, he was trying to shut her down right as they were going to catch the killer.

“This isn’t up for discussion,” Emerson replied, looking at her with stone cold eyes. He knew that Natalia didn’t really mean what she’d said. She was angry and he was willing to take the abuse from it if it meant she came to her senses and stayed in the car.

Come on! What’s wrong with you? You’ve never protested about this before!” Natalia retorted, trying desperately and failing miserably to keep her temper at bay.

“Yes, I have. You just never listened to me. But this time, I’m actually putting my foot down. You’re not leaving this car.” Emerson stayed true to his word and opened his door, pressing the lock on the inside of it to lock the car.

“Real mature, Emerson. Seriously, let me out,” Natalia replied.

“No, Nat. You’re not leaving the car,” Emerson repeated, about to close his door and go to the house.

Natalia leaned forwards onto his seat, looking at him and propping herself up with her right hand on the steering wheel. “Come on, this isn’t funny anymore.”

“Not being funny, Nat. I’m serious.” Before Natalia could react, Emerson had pulled his handcuffs from his belt and snapped them on her wrist and the steering wheel. “I’ll see you in a little while.”

Emerson!” Natalia yelled as he closed his door.

He continued walking, hearing Natalia scream at him and pound on the window with her fist. Having been leaning over, handcuffing her right hand when she was in the passenger seat probably wasn’t the smartest thing he could’ve done and he’d be the first to admit that. But, he had no doubt in his mind that Natalia had a pin of some sort that she could get herself out of the double locked handcuffs in no time at all. At least now her pockets would be the slightest bit tighter with her leaning, it was going to take her just a slight bit longer to free herself. That along with the car door (though he knew she didn’t care about setting the alarm off), Emerson had hopefully bought himself enough time to collect Jane and be back to the car before she could get out.

He wasn’t sure whether he’d allotted enough time to get Jane into the car before he got punched in the face, though.

Emerson rapped on the front door so hard he thought his knuckles were going to bruise. The door creaked open, having seemingly never been closed in the first place. He looked back for a moment to look at Natalia, who sat in the squad car glaring at him.

He swallowed hard, walking into the bright yellow house cautiously. His breathing was quiet; he didn’t dare make a sound. He drew his gun from his belt and held it out in front of him. Even if he had no intent to shoot it unless it was absolutely necessary, it was something to ground him and remind him that he was protected.

“Jane Paxton?” Emerson called into what appeared to be an empty house. “I’m with the police department. Please come out with your arms in the air.”

Emerson heard a creak from his right and quickly turned towards the sound, gun leading his gaze, finger on the trigger. No one was there. Emerson gulped softly, walking towards where the creak had come from.

Near the large staircase was a door to another room that sat slightly ajar. Though Emerson had a horrible feeling about it, he slowly walked towards the room and went inside. He felt around the wall for a light switch, the pitch-black room not doing him any favours in finding Jane. Flicking it on when he’d finally found it, his eyes took a second to adjust to the light.

The square room was the size of a large broom cupboard, barely big enough to hold what a standard bedroom would. Emerson tucked his gun back into his belt as he gazed at the table in front of him, face to face with three prosthetic masks on polystyrene foam heads for safe keeping. Each mask was freckled with crimson red spots across it. Emerson came to the quick realization that the spots must’ve been blood, or something made to look as such.

There was a small clothing rack behind the table; Emerson strolled over to it, examining the three outfits that hung from it. They were spaced out so they weren’t touching. Like the masks, the first two outfits were caked with blood. The final outfit, a dress that looked like it was from a wedding’s bridal party, had vomit stains across the front of it. Emerson froze, the hairs on the back of his neck standing up slightly.

Bridal party. The wedding may not have had a bride, but Emerson knew what he held in his hands: the dress that Xyla Davis had been wearing the night she died.

But how did Jane get a hold of it and why would she want it in the first place?

The door behind Emerson slammed shut, a distinct click sounding afterwards. He whipped around quickly, letting go of the burgundy bridesmaid dress and running over to the door. Out of blind hope, he tried the door handle only to confirm it was locked. He pounded his fist on the door once, swearing loudly. Now he knew how Natalia felt.

Emerson could hear soft footsteps from above him; he knew he needed to get up those stairs as soon as he could. Drawing his gun from his belt, he aimed and fired at the doorknob, blowing it off. He pushed the door open and ran up the stairs he knew were to his left.

“Hello?” Emerson called, his eyes darting around the dark room.

The second floor was an open concept, various pieces of furniture were scattered all over the place. Scraps of discarded prosthetic projects laid on the floor and hung over the edges of oak dressers and cardboard boxes, which Emerson could only assume contained more masks and makeup products, possibly more creepy foam heads too.

“Down came the Jane to wash the Hunter out…” A female voice sang, causing Emerson’s heart to skip a beat and his breath to hitch in his throat. He knew that voice from somewhere, he just couldn’t remember where…

Head on a swivel, he looked for the source of the voice, not seeing anyone. His gun was still drawn, but he couldn’t shoot her if he couldn’t see her.

“Out came the cops who tried to catch the Jane…” The voice continued to taunt him. It sounded as if it were coming at him from every angle, though he knew that couldn’t be possible.

Emerson held his gun out, hoping to make her believe that he could see her and have her reveal herself before he had to admit that he didn’t. It was a shot in the dark – possibly literally if she didn’t show herself – but he had to try something.

“But the broken hearted widow would live to kill again…”

“Jane, please,” Emerson spoke into the nothingness, eyes frantically looking for something to make the voice stop or for her to show herself. No such luck. “No one else has to die, let me help you.”

No!” She hissed, “They had to die! They cheated on me, replaced me with other women.”

They? You were only married to Hunter, Jane. Why don’t you come out here and we can talk, face to face? There’s no need for you to hide. I’ll even put my gun away,” Emerson replied, shaking his head at himself as he holstered his gun. He wanted to slap himself for being so stupid, but he kept his composure. Her trust was what he needed in order to go through with her arrest, and if that meant putting his gun away, he was willing to try.

After a few seconds, it was obvious that she didn’t trust him in the slightest.

He somehow managed to find it within himself to feel the smallest bit offended.

“I was married to them all, you fool,” Jane spat, Emerson still couldn’t see anything that even remotely resembled a human, besides the awful masks all over the room. “Just because I died doesn’t mean that they can move on from me! They get married and what do I get? Nothing! They left me for dead and moved on. They can’t do that!”

“Well, yes, they can. You know that whole ‘death do us part’ thing you said in your vows? That kind of applies in your circumstance. You don’t just say that stuff for kicks, you know,” Emerson commented, tilting his head slightly as he explained before he frowned. “And how were you married to them all? There aren’t any records stating so, unless you eloped or something like that…” Emerson knew he was rambling but he couldn’t help it. He needed to keep her talking as long as he could so he could formulate some kind of plan to catch her when he had no idea as to where she was.

“Anya Greenway, Xyla Davis… they were me! All me!” Jane replied, sounding as if she were close to manic hysterics. “I loved Hunter and Christopher and Frankie more than you could imagine and they cheated on me! With the likes of Sabrina Paxton, Rosa Greenway, and Frankie’s new girlfriend, Charlotte. They’ve replaced me, can’t you see? It’s horrible what they did. They all deserved what they got, and what Frankie is going to get. Marriage is a bond, one so sacred that it shouldn’t ever be broken. But they broke it! They betrayed the love we shared!”

“Jane, they thought you were gone. What were they supposed to do? Mourn for the rest of their lives?” Emerson reasoned, suddenly regretting the fact that he’d forced Natalia to stay in the squad car. She was the one who would know what to do, about Jane and the fact that her mental illnesses were going off the charts and couldn’t be controlled. “And there’s no way that Frankie replaced you… replaced Xyla… you should have heard how choked up about the overdose he was. Are you sure that-?”

“I’m always sure!” Jane shouted.

“Didn’t you replace them by marrying other men?” Emerson asked quietly, incredibly angry at his judgment and conscience for allowing him to ask that.

“I replaced them because they replaced me!” Jane protested, her voice reverberating around the room.

Emerson still had absolutely no clue what his next move was going to be, but he decided to continue the conversation anyways. “Oh-kay,” he managed, sighing softly. “Why don’t you come out so we can have a less one-sided conversation? I like speaking to people that I can see,” Emerson tried once again, praying for a different result than he’d got before. Einstein surely would have proven him insane by that point.

Jane didn’t reply.

“Hello?” Emerson asked to the room. He was hoping the lack of reply was because she listened to him. After a short minute, that was clearly not the case. “Hello?” he repeated, knowing for a fact that he was definitely insane for trying the same thing again.

Emerson heard a clatter from the bottom floor.

He quickly ran down, following where he thought the sound had come from. He could hear struggling from a room and tried the doorknob to no avail. Wanting to save his bullets, he stomped on the doorknob and booted the door open.

The light was on and Emerson was met with a blonde woman tied to a chair and lying on the ground. Emerson immediately recognized her as Joan. Carefully, he got her chair back upright, undoing the gag that had been tied around her mouth.

“Are you alright?” Emerson asked, his eyes looking straight into her deep, chocolate brown ones.

“Please help me, she’s insane!” Joan pleaded, tears staining her cheeks and her lip wobbling with fright. Her cheekbone had already started bruising from her fall.

“It’s okay, I’m going to get you out of here,” Emerson assured calmly. If there was only one thing he could do properly, it was keeping his promises. He was going to get her out of that house and away from Jane, even if he had absolutely no clue as to where she was.

He walked behind Joan, untying the ropes her wrists were bound with. Dropping them to the floor, he stepped back around the chair as she reached for her ankles and began untying. Her wrists were raw and red from struggling, but that didn’t stop her from undoing the ropes.

“Look, my partner is outside in the squad car, let’s get you out there before-” Emerson started to explain, already starting to plan the escape route in his head.

Look out!” Joan shrieked as she looked back up. She pointed behind him with an expression of pure terror dressing her face.

Emerson turned around quickly, predicting that Jane was behind him and raising his arms to defend himself from whatever attack she may have ready. He closed his eyes and braced for impact, hoping that Joan could escape while he distracted Jane. When nothing happened for a few seconds, Emerson slowly opened his eyes. The last thing he expected to see in front of him was… nothing. Emerson frowned, looked back at Joan.

“Wha-?” Emerson was cut off as he was tackled to the ground, a silver flash all he saw as Joan plunged something upwards into his stomach and just underneath his Kevlar vest.

Her hand grabbed something at his hip, but Emerson knew he shouldn’t look down for fear of going into shock from the new wound. She slashed just below his eye with her knife. Emerson pushed her off of him, taking in a deep breath when all his body wanted to do was hyperventilate.

He was trained to tell himself that he was going to survive, and he was going to believe it until he was proven wrong. And if it came to that point, it would mean he wouldn’t care that he’d lied to himself.

Joan rose to her feet, her knife in one hand and Emerson’s gun in the other. She tucked the gun under her arm while she pulled a handkerchief out from her pocket, wiping away the fake tears and the purple bruise.

“Ah, stage makeup. Gotta love it, eh, detective?” Joan asked, grinning.

Slowly, Emerson stood up as well. Emerson stuck his hand under his vest, his hand stained crimson when he pulled it back out. He could feel the blood as it trickled down his cheek and chin from the slash she’d made. Wincing only slightly, he looked up at Joan.

He knew where he’d heard Jane’s voice before.

“So you’re Jane?” he asked, breaking the silence.

“The one and only,” Joan replied, a smirk tugging at the corner of her lips as she held her hands out at her sides.

“Why would you kill those men?” Emerson asked, his throat feeling dry.

“Like I said, they betrayed me,” Joan answered simply. “Any other questions?”

“Are you going to kill me?” Emerson replied, honestly curious. Most of the time on cases, the answer was yes. He doubted that time was any different.

Joan nodded followed by a small shrug, “It’s nothing personal. But now you know too much, and I can’t have you running off and telling people, now can I?”

“Then why not let me arrest you and end this entire thing?” Emerson questioned, trying his best to stand at his full height.

“Easy,” Joan retorted, “You came here before I killed Frankie. I didn’t finish the job, and I always finish my job, detective. Any last words?” She raised Emerson’s gun and watched as Emerson swallowed hard. His stomach felt as if it were in his throat, he forced himself to push it back down.

A shot fired, Emerson clutched his shoulder as he felt the piercing shock of the bullet. His head hit the ground, vision going blurry. Another shot rang out, though Emerson felt no pain.

A cry of pain sounded, someone hit the ground near him. He couldn’t tell where the thud had come from, each sound was far off and distant. Though he swore there was something outside that he could hear, but not identify.

Emerson couldn’t force himself to look around and find his way out. And even if he could, he wouldn’t have been able to see what had happened. Dots blurred his vision, his mind was swirling with the sheer blinding pain in his shoulder.

As his eyes felt heavier and started closing, he could make out a pair of black heeled boots coming to stand in front of him.

 

Is Joan dead or alive?

You Decided

Click To Reveal Results

DEAD

50%

ALIVE

50%

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~Toni Morrison

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