“She’s brunette.”

“Black.”

“Brunette!”

“BLACK.”

“Jordie! What colour’s your hair?” Ezelena spun around in her seat to glare at the pink-haired petite.

Barely glancing up from her game of Tetris, she mumbled back a simple answer. “Dark.” And then, with a little twitch of the corner of her mouth, “Can’t you tell by my eyebrows?”

“Dark,” Oliver finalised with a cheeky, knowing smile. He turned to glance at the top of her head. It had been a while since her last touch up, and the black roots of her hair were beginning to show. He liked it. It added some edge to her, or so he felt. He briefly recalled the day they did it. She had demanded a bribe of cinnamon pop tarts to keep her still while he, in another new-hobby induced mania, bleached her natural sable-brown hair to an ashy-blonde and then dying it to its current and up-kept carnation pink. It was funny to realise that he was the only one who could vaguely remember what she looked like with completely dark hair. To be honest, her with dark hair would make her look weird. Like, unnatural weird. The pink somehow completed her.

“Yes, but what kind?” Roy egged on. “I’ve seen a 48-colour pencil set, man. There’re like six different shades of DARK.”

“Wow, I’d love to see you go postal in a paint store,” Ezelena grinned, prompting a laughter from everyone in the room.

“Yo paparazzo neighbour, don’t you have like a picture of her when you were kids or something?” Roy nudged Kodie with his socked foot.

“I’m colour-blind, idiot! Her hair’s dark, that’s all I can say,” he shrugged.

“I’m sorry!” Ezelena drew back, the memory of his disability crashing her consciousness all at once.

“It’s okay. I see things you guys don’t,” he stuck out his tongue.

Roy went silent for a moment, deep in thought. “Who’s blinder? You or doll?” he reached out a hand to pull at one of Jordan’s pink locks, earning a smack on the hand from her.

“Whoa whoa whoa, heads up! Doofus sighted,” Ezelena leaned forward onto the dashboard.

The crew silenced as they watched a man leave one of the mobile houses in a hurry.

“Okay, just like we planned. Roy, you follow him. Jordie, lookout. Me, Eze and Kodie search for any info on the dog fighting rings. Got it?” Oliver recounted. A quick approval, then dispersion.

Roy naughtily poked Jordan’s cheek and slapped Kodie’s head before taking off out of the back of the Pajero. Jordan climbed into the driver’s seat while Oliver, Ezelena and Kodie tried to close the doors behind them as quietly as possible.

Crouching down to pick the lock, Oliver bit his bottom lip and jammed a paper clip into the keyhole. Ezelena looked around hurriedly and snagged a key out of a pot plant near the house’s window. “Use this,” she whispered.

Clicking his tongue at the disappointment of not being able to use his newfound lock picking skills, Oliver replaced the paper clip with the key and ushered them into the house.

“What are we looking for?” Kodie immediately began sifting through a pile of mail on the grimy couch next to the door.

“This guy’s a supplier. Check for unusual amounts of dog food, vaccinations, stuff like that,” Ezelena made her way to the back of the house. Oliver chose to scour the man’s other drawers for paychecks and stuff.

Outside, Jordan wound down a window and rested her head on the door frame, staring out boredly at the road leading away from the mobile home grounds.

“Hey princess,” a voice behind the car whistled. She jumped up to see a classmate of hers walking up and leaning against the car. “Evan? What are you doing here?” she leaned out of the car.

The dark-skinned boy smiled. “I live here. On weekends, at least. My ma’s got a nice blue caravan on the edge there,” he pointed towards the cliff. “On a case?” he continued, taking Jordan by surprise.

“How’d you figure?” she snorted.

“Well, if I remember, you’re not the type who goes out much to stake out trailers,” he scratched his forehead. Jordan glanced up and down the truck. “Are we that inconspicuous?” she raised her eyebrows.

“In this? Hell yeah. You’re parked good, but anyone coming down from that side of the road will think otherwise,” Evan gestured to the forest trail. “Tell you what, if you sit with me there, you’ll be able to keep your lookout and dismiss the car,” he drew her attention to a platform in the trees at the road’s intersection.

In her mind, Jordan envisioned the scope from the higher ground. It certainly would give her an advantage, taking into consideration that the man could have partners dropping in without notice. Pocketing her phone, she wound up the window and locked the Pajero behind her.

Evan looked her up and down, smiling. “What?” Jordan growled. “Corny as all hell, but you do look like the princess of my dreams,” he smirked.

“Your dream princess is a pasty, chemically coloured, neurotic?” the corners of Jordan’s mouth twitched.

“She has expressive deficits, but perfect’s different to everyone,” Evan helped her up the wooden ladder plank nailed into the tree.

Atop the little tree platform, Jordan appreciated the unobstructed view of both lone roads leading to and from the patch of mobile home area. She sent a quick text to Oliver, notifying him of her location change. Next to her, Evan glanced out to the view of the valley beyond the cliff.

“So, whats the deal with you and Oliver Marksin? Gotcha knight already?” he sighed.

Jordan frowned. “No. It’s not like that. Ollie’s my best friend,” she pushed a pink curl away from her ear.

“So I still got a chance, then?” Evan scooted closer to her. Jordan turned to him with a bemused expression. “Coming on a little strong, don’t you think?” But her mouth curved into her form of a smile regardless.


 

Writer’s note: TBH, not really feeling it this week :S but fret not! I feel the anxiety and will try to get back on track as soon as possible!

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