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New Dawn Rising (Lovely_Poison)

By SmileBright
Backup thread



He’s a young detective Xavier—one of the good ones—and when an undercover bust went bad three years ago, his wife and unborn child were killed. He swore he’d never love again, even though he was married young right out of high school. Then his old partner retires, only to be replaced by a wide-eyed, spunky rookie, Dawn Matthews, whose seemingly impossible innocence and zest for life remind him life is worth living again. This could only end in disaster…right? Dare he makes the first move toward new love?

CLOSED FOR LOVELY_POISON
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[b "Oh yes!  I accept.  Oh, thank you!  I will not let you or the team down."] Dawn excitedly spoke into her cellphone, pacing around her living room. "You better not.  We will see you tomorrow, make sure you have dressed appropriately.  Welcome to the team, Dawn." The chief spoke and then hung up the phone.  [b "Thank you, thank you!"] Dawn smiled.  When the phone call was over, Dawn couldn't keep in her excitement.  She started dancing around her living room, jumping up and down.  [b "I did it!  I can't believe I really did it!"] The girl spoke, settling herself down on her couch.  

Dawn had wanted to be a detective her whole life.  While other little girls dressed as princesses, Dawn found trench coats and magnifying glasses.  She loved puzzles and solving "mysteries" her father would create for her.  Dawn's mother had passed when she was little, and her dad was all she had, and he was a detective too.  She always wanted to be just like her dad.  

Going through the police academy was rough, but it was what Dawn needed to do to get to where she wanted to be.  College, Police Academy, a year in investigation services and now her dream.  During her time at investigative services, Dawn had unique skills a lot of other people took years to learn.  Dawn was a wiz at finding information, on anyone and anything.  She could deep dive to find people, where they would be and why they were there.  She could read people easily, just by looking at them.  She was also one of the best undercover officers they had, being able to play any role she was given, which had probably given them a reason for her getting this detective job.

Some people were thrown off by Dawn as well.  She was young, new to the scene, and eccentric.  She was unconventional in some things, and the girl could talk about anything.  She rubbed some people the wrong way, but she meant no harm.  She had such delight in life and wanted to live it as authentically as she could.

[i - Next Morning, 8:42 am-]

[i I hope you are proud of me, mom.] Dawn thought to herself, as she braced herself for the first day of her dream job.

Dawn walked into the station, excited to start her first day.  She walked into the office where her boss sits, walking in and saluting him.  [b "Good Morning."] Dawn greeted the man, reaching her hand out to shake him.  "Hello Dawn, it's a pleasure to finally meet you in person.  How about you go take a seat at your desk, and you can have your partner show you around, huh." the chief smiled, looking down at his paperwork.  [b "Partner, sir?"] Dawn asked, no one had told her of a partner.  "Yes, you don't think you'd be alone as a rookie, do you?" he replied.  Dawn smiled, knowing this would all be a part of the job.  [b "You're right sir.  I'll be the best rookie you've ever had.  Mark my words.  Today is the best day of my life, sir."] Dawn replied, knowing her personality was too much for a lot of people.  "Yes, uh, make it the best day of your life at your desk." the chief smiled at her.  Dawn, knowing she overstayed her welcome, made her way to her desk.

Dawn saw the desk, a nameplate with her name on it.  [b "Wow, this is so fancy.  I can't believe I have my own desk.  This is going to be amazing."] she smiled and noticed someone at the desk next to hers.  [b "Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry.  Dawn Matthews.  You can just call me Dawn, or Matthews.  I know my dad said something about detectives sometimes calling each other by last names.  I've always wondered about that. I am talking too much, I'm sorry.  Well, it's nice to meet you."] Dawn said nervously and finished by nervously running a hand through her hair, a nervous habit she had.  She let her personality throw up all over this nice young man who she was sitting next to. [b "I'm sorry I made such an idiot of myself, I've been told I make quite the impression. It's my first day."] Dawn replied, putting her bag down underneath her desk.  [b "Are you the partner he boss told me about?"] she smiled.  Dawn hoped and prayed her new partner wasn't already annoyed or scared by the way she acted.  She would just have to show them how good of a worker she could be.
Lovely_PoisonXavier   192d ago

[center [i How much more frustrating could shit get?]]


[center Despite the fact that the question was a rhetorical one, and only spoke in his mind, Xavier got his answer in the form of a call to the chief's office. He'd already finished his paperwork for the night and was ready to head back to his apartment, get a drink, and go to bed. Hell, it was routine for him at this point. He didn't need something interrupting that. And yet, here he was, standing before his superior, doing his best not to look agitated.]


[center By the raised brow on the chief's face, he wasn't doing a very good job at all.]


[center [b [i "Don't worry. This won't take long. I'm only informing you that I'm assigning you a new partner. A young woman who will be here tomorrow."]]]


[center A tick worked its' way into Xavier's jaw. [b "I think it's a bit too early for a new partner,"] he said, his voice rough. He was tired, damn it. He didn't have time for this.]


[center The chief shrugged. [b [i "Sorry, Madison. It's a done deal. Go home and rest up. You have a busy day ahead of you."]]]


[center He couldn't argue. He wanted to, though. His body screamed at him to stand his ground, to tell the man before him to throw the newbie at someone who gave a shit. He didn't, though. He was just angry about the change. He respected the other gentleman too much to actually make too much of a fuss. [b "Fine, but if she can't hold her own, I'm washing my hands of her."]]


[center A nod before he spoke again. [b [i "Goodnight, Madison."]]]


[center He only grunted in response before he turned on his heel, quickly leaving the room. [i Great...] His last partner had been perfect. They'd worked together like a well-oiled machine. His departure had been rough, but at least Xavier had known he didn't have to worry about having his back and vice versa. They just worked that well together. With a rookie...who knew what would happen?]


[center He paused in the hallway, leaning against the wall and running a hand over his face. Memories flashed through his mind. Blonde hair, bright blue eyes, and the kindest smile he'd ever seen. He closed his eyes tightly and took a deep, shaky breath. Those images would haunt him for the rest of his life...]


[center [b ~~~~~~]]


[center The next morning, Xavier sat at his desk, a cup of untouched coffee sitting beside a framed picture of him and a woman. The picture, instead of facing him in the chair, facing the opposite way, as if looking out at the room instead. It was too hard to look at and too hard to put away. He was furiously typing away at his computer when he heard an unfamiliar voice.]


[center He paused, listening as the young woman commented on her own desk. [i It's not that impressive.] He wouldn't tell her that, though. The job would crush her enthusiasm in no time. Then she addressed him and it took all he had not to glare, grit his teeth, or snap at her. It wasn't her fault that this had happened. [i Breathe...]]


[center Finally looking away from his computer, his eyes would take in, a quick up and down, before landing on her face. She hardly looked old enough to even be out of school. And she certainly knew how to talk... [i Christ.] He sighed before leaning back in his seat, running a hand through his hair. [b "Xavier Madison, and yes, we address one another by our last names."] This was fine....everything was fine.]


[center [b "I am, in fact, the partner he told you about."] Sitting back up, he watched her. [b "A few things before this goes any further: don't belittle yourself. You haven't done anything wrong. Slow down when speaking, otherwise, I'm going to ignore you. That's too much to focus on at once, especially this early in the morning."] Was it obvious that he wasn't a morning person? [b "Don't expect to go out into the field right away, and if we do, don't just jump in. You do that, you'll put us both in danger."]]


[center Xavier was positive she already knew all of this, but there was no harm in giving her a quick reminder.]

Dawn, even if she kept her smile and bright demeanor on the outside, was a bit hurt by the hardness of her new partner.  [b “Noted.”] she replied to his laundry list of ‘tips’ he had so graciously given her.  She sat down at her new desk, pulling out her laptop and opening it up.  [b “And I have been on the field before.  Not as a detective but I did some undercover work before. I do know what I am doing.”] the woman commented, not looking up from her computer.

Dawn, as much as she was outgoing and a people person, was used to working alone.  She had worked as an information analyst, as well as an undercover worker when needed.  She was extremely observant, which was one of the main reasons she was hired as a new detective. They needed someone who was good at figuring out information.

Dawn sat back, her inbox completely empty.  She tapped her legs before she looked over Xavier.  He was handsome, a ‘dark and mysterious’ type no doubt.  But she shouldn’t be thinking that way, she needed to keep all relationships completely professional.  But, thinking he was handsome was not against the rules.

[b “Chief Forester mentioned you’d show me around?  I haven’t gotten my badge or anything yet, and I’m not sure where’d I’d even go to do that.”] Dawn spoke brightly, her demeanor wasn’t quite crushed by the mysterious man.  She knew the two clearly didn’t get off on the right foot, but she wasn’t going to change who she was for this guy.  If anything, he’d have to loosen up if he wanted to have a decent relationship with her.  Even if he didn’t, that didn’t mean she wouldn't be looking out for him from here on out.  A partner is a partner.  

[i “Ah, it seems like you two have officially met. Hopefully you two are already getting along well.”] Chief Forester approached the pair, placing a hand on the back on Dawn’s chair as he took a sip of his coffee. [i “Matthews, has Madison shown you around yet?”] The chief asked, giving a brief look over to Xavier before his eyes settled on the rookie.

[b “Oh, uh, not yet.  We were just getting acquainted.”] Dawn spoke, a smile on her lips as she looked up to the chief, before her eyes then settled on Xavier on her left.  [i “Well, you two should do that tour.  After that, come by the office, we have a new case for you two.  Well, new to you Matthews.  You were pretty familiar with this case, Madison.”] The chief spoke, before walking away, downing more of his coffee without another word.  

Seems like Chief Forester was a man of mystery as well, she’d have to remember that.  [b “Better get a move on then, hm?”] she spoke, her smile never leaving her lips.  She pushed herself up onto her feet, [b “I’d rather get started on a case sooner rather than later, don’t know about yourself.”] Dawn spoke, a bit of sass in her voice.  He may be her partner and this may be work, but who said she couldn’t have a little fun as well.
Lovely_PoisonXavier   179d ago

[center Xavier had to pause at her words. He was sure it didn't mean to come off as snarky, since it didn't sound like it, but the way she worded it was interesting. [i [b "I do know what I'm doing."]] Maybe she wouldn't be that bad to work with after all. Quickly pushing that thought away, he looked back to his screen. At least she was willing to listen, as well. That would make things a little bit easier.]


[center A silence settled over the room, which made him feel a little more at ease. Xavier wasn't good at small talk. He never had been, even when he had a wife and child on the way. Sure, he would do it more often back then, but he didn't like to. It was never enjoyable or easy.]


[center It was why he was grateful for the quiet. He could actually think and do what needed to be done without any interruptions.]


[center Provided nothing happened.]


[center Then she spoke again, and it took everything in his power not to bite her head off. It wasn't her fault he didn't sleep well the night before. It wasn't her fault that the chief had thrown the two of them into this position. He opened his mouth to reply when the Chief's voice stopped him. He quickly closed out what he was working on on the computer, making sure he saved it first, before turning around in his chair to give Dawn and Forester his complete attention.]


[center With a quick [b "Yes, sir,"], Xavier stood, stretching his arms over his head before grabbing his jacket and throwing it on. He raised a brow as he looked at her. Her attitude hadn't changed at all, despite him practically biting her head off. It was interesting, to say the least. It meant that she might survive the place.]


[center [b "I'll try not to take too long, then. I'll show you the important places."] He took a moment to think before he shrugged. [b "Maybe later I'll show you all of the secret spots around the building."] Couldn't hurt to be a [i little] nice.]


[center Something tugged at the back of his mind, however. What case was the chief talking about and why did he have the feeling that he wasn't going to like it?]

Dawn watched as Xavier stood up, agreeing to get on to their tour.  She followed suit, grabbing her jacket and pulling it over her shoulders.  She looked over at him as he raised a brow at him, returning his glance with a smile.  She wasn;t gonna let her partner's bad attitude dull her personality.  She was going to be herself in whatever job she had, regardless of whatever people wanted her to be. Dawn was excitable and loud, but that was who she was when she met new people.  But, she knew when to hold back and be serious; and that’s what she did when she worked.  As she told Xavier, she knew what she was doing.

Dawn grabbed her phone and wallet, putting them into her pocket as Xavier spoke.  Dawn couldn’t but smirk at his comment about showing her the secret places later, before her eyes went back to locking her phone.  [b “Looking forward to it, Madison.”] she spoke, before she began to follow behind him as he began showing her around.  She was able to get her detective badge and her weapon, putting it on her hip.  She thanked the person at the desk as she continued to follow Xavier around to the important areas of the station.  

[b “So, tell me a little about yourself?  If we’re going to be working together, we should know some things about each other, right?”] Dawn spoke, before wrapping her arms around herself.  [b “I’ll go first.  As you seem a bit tired today.”] she teased, bumping his side gently, his size compared to her causing him not to move very much as all.  [b “Well, I’m 25.  I worked at investigation services for a year and a half out of the academy, which is why I was transferred here.  I’ve lived in this city my whole life, and my dad was the sergeant for a while here, but he retired a few years back.  I’m a pretty open book, if you want to know anything else, you can always just ask.”] Dawn spoke, her calming as she began to get more comfortable.  

Dawn knew they were both a little thrown off.  They both seemed unaware they were getting a partner, and it clearly would take some time to get to know each other a little.  But, in her mind, the better acquainted they were, the better they’d work together.  [b “This might seem forward, but do you wanna grab a drink after work tonight?  I’m not asking you out, well…I guess I am.  Not in like a date kind of way though, in like a ‘get to know my partner’ kind of way.  I think we’ll work better together if we know each other.”] Dawn smiled nervously, hoping she didn’t ruin this new workplace relationship.
Lovely_PoisonXavier   168d ago

[center Maybe his bitterness came off a bit too strong, though Xavier made no apologies for that. He had every right to be. Anyone who knew him knew that. He still wasn't over how hard the world had screwed him. Hell, he probably never would be. It had been pretty messed up the way things had turned out.]


[center He paused a moment. [i Fucking hell...] That's what it was that was throwing him off about Dawn: she reminded him of his late wife. The way she carried herself, the way that she talked, and her bubbly attitude. It was enough to make his stomach knot up. How was he going to work with her if each time she bounced into the room or spoke to him, he thought about one of the very few things that had mattered to him?]


[center It was something he would just have to figure out on his own. Hopefully, he could keep his partner safe. It wouldn't be fair if she grew on him, only to be ripped from his hands, too.]


[center Her voice snapped him out of the dark place in his mind. Dark eyes darted to her, letting her get out whatever it was she wanted to say. The hip bump, however, admittedly took him by surprise. He was glad he didn't really move because of it. She was so damn small...]


[center [b "Sounds like you were just destined to end up here,"] he said as they continued. If her dad had been a sergeant then it made some sense. She would've grown up around some of the stuff, though probably not anything that she'd be dealing with while she worked with him. Now it was his turn... What could he say about himself? [b "Well...I'm thirty-one and I guess you can say I was destined to do this as well, though it was because my mother was a detective as well."] He would [i not] mention the fact that he'd been obsessed with crime shows and books. That would probably come later.]


[center He raised a brow at her offer. It definitely came off as forward, but he could tell she only had the best intentions in mind. [b "I suppose that wouldn't be so bad,"] he said after a moment or two of silence. It wouldn't be fair to deny her the chance to get to know him, especially since they were meant to work in close quarters together. He almost sighed. [b "Nothing too heavy, though. We both need to be back here early tomorrow."] Maybe a small bar or something. Unless they ended up hungry. Then he might be nice enough to offer some dinner.]

Dawn looked up to Xavier as he spoke, their steps falling into a rhythm as she listened to him.  Destined to be here?  She never thought of it like that, as a destiny thing.  Dawn had always wanted to help people, and this was the best way she could think to do it.  She was also surprised they had quite a bit in common, their parents being in the profession before them.  She gave him a surprised nod, before a smile rose to her lips.  [b “Destiny, huh?  Never thought of it like that, but I guess it was.”] she spoke, before looking in front of her.  [b “I wish my mom had been able to see me now…”] she spoke softly, but didn’t hold onto the statement very long.

Dawn’s demeanor from speaking about her mother to her response to him agreeing to go out with her tonight was like flipping a switch.  The bright smile rose back to her lips, before she turned to him as they continued to walk.  [b “Oh, great!”] she smiled, before rolling her eyes as he said nothing too heavy.  [b “Oh, man.  And here I was expecting you to do tequila shots with me, Madison.”] she teased, a fake pout sat on her lips before it broke into her usual smile.  

As they approached the front desk for Dawn to get her badge and her weapon, the man at the desk looked past her at first to see Xavier, before looking back to Dawn.  [i “Madison, you got a new partner, huh? I’d run while you can.”] The curly-haired man spoke, typing on his computer.  Dawn looked back to Xavier with a smile, before looking back at the man.  [b “Oh, I think I can handle it.  I’m pretty tough.”] she spoke in a friendly manner, remembering her father’s advice of befriending everyone in the office.  Everyone can help you if they want to.  

The man handed her a badge, along with a weapon, smiling at her.  [i “Good luck out there, rookie.”] he spoke, and Dawn smiled back.  She strapped the gun to her waist, placing her badge on her belt as she turned back to Madison as they continued her tour.  [b “You know, it seems like you're a big deal around here.  Or at least everyone knows you.  Everyone we’ve passed has acknowledged you in one way or another.  Guess I got good luck with a partner.  Only thing that could make it better could be if you cracked a smile at least once today.”] Dawn spoke, her steps bounced as she walked by his side. 

As they made their way around, Dawn began getting stopped by different officers of all ranks, just introducing themselves.  She tried her best to keep up her upbeat demeanor, even with the constant hellos and small talk everyone wanted to have with her.  It upset her a bit that she was one of the very few women who worked here, and everyone continued to call her pet names like ‘sweetheart’.  The only one who hadn’t minimized her at all was Xavier.  And she couldn’t thank him enough for that, even if he seemed uninterested in her.  

As they got away from yet another person and continued their tour, she turned to him.  [b “Is everyone gonna minimize me to ‘sweetheart’?”] she spoke softly, leaning against Madison lightly so her soft tone was still heard by him.
Lovely_PoisonXavier   138d ago

[center Dark eyes landed on the girl for just a moment as she spoke. He bit the inside of his cheek for a split second. [i Do] not [i bring up mothers. Noted.] The last thing Xavier needed was to make her upset or have her start crying because he was an insensitive asshole who didn’t know when to shut up. Usually, he wouldn’t care but this was someone he had to get along with while they were working together. Best to keep his distance but not get on her bad side. He didn’t linger on any of it too long, almost experiencing whiplash when she smiled at him. It was as if any sadness her words came with were quickly washed away. She was an odd one, wasn’t she?]

[center He raised a brow, a smirk tugging at the corners of his lips. [b “I can promise you that you wouldn’t stand a chance if we did Tequila shots together, Matthews.”] He’d almost called her Mouse. He wasn’t sure why he’d thought about saying it but it seemed fitting at the moment. She was so small and frail beside him that it was the only thing he could think of. Damn it. If he started giving her nicknames this soon, he was going to forget her actual name. He paused. Would that really be so bad?]

[center Approaching the desk, he would roll his eyes. [b “I don’t bite, and if I do, it’s not like she’ll catch rabies or anything. She’ll survive.”] She was acting like a tough little cookie. It was kind of amusing. [i She’s just a ball of sunshine.] Another nickname he could stick in his back pocket. Maybe he’d make a list and see what stuck down the line. He stood silently as she received her items, not having a single thing to say since it wasn’t anything major. Not like she had to wear her gun a certain way or have her badge in a specific spot. It was all on display. She would be fine.]

[center Continuing on, Xavier grew quiet again. Of course, everyone knew him. He’d been the one to lose someone close to him when his job had gone wrong. There wasn’t a single person inside of that building that [i didn’t] know who he was. He would’ve told her, would’ve given her a little glimpse into why that was, but quickly decided against it. People talked. She’d find out one way or another. He wasn’t ready to talk about it, especially with a newbie that he wasn’t even sure would be around for very long. [b “I’ll smile when I have an actual reason to smile,”] he said with a shrug as if it wasn’t a big deal.]

[center Throughout the rest of their tour, he would slowly grow annoyed by each person that stopped them. He had shit to do and none of it involved introductions and small talk. She could do that with the others on her own time. He didn’t say any of that out loud, though. Let the girl have her fun, even if it was bothering him. The real work would start soon. Then she wouldn’t have time for any of that either. Her sudden closeness to him a little while later made him tense. [b “Probably,”] he said in response. [b “It’s mostly people trying to be polite since they don’t know you’re name. If you don’t like it, feel free to tell them. Stand you’re ground and show them you’re a bad bitch. They’ll call you by your name real quick.”]]

[center He could easily recall a time when another rookie had come through, another woman, who’d quickly let it be known that she took no one's shit and was a no-nonsense person. She was there to work and be a damn good detective. She ended up moving to another city, but she’d been amazing when she’d been around. She’d earned respect from her peers pretty quickly. Maybe this one would be able to do the same.]

[center For her sake, Xavier certainly hoped so.]

Dawn was starting to like this version of Xavier she was starting to see.  The one who was opening up just a little bit, before shutting her out once again.  She hoped that when they went out tonight for a drink he was able to open up again, just like he was now.  Even if it was only a little bit.

Dawn didn’t expect to get a partner.  She had never had one before, but she knew it was standard for a rookie to have a partner.  Dawn had always taken care of herself, she took on the role of being the strong one for her dad when her mother passed.  She took on all the household chores and things so he could focus on work.  She worked as hard as she could, and then a little harder.  Her personality was the only thing easy-going about her, underneath it, she was rock solid.  It seemed like something happened to Xavier to let his rock solid-ness be his outer layer.  She knew she’d find out, but only when he was ready to tell her. 

The rest of the tour hadn’t been that bad, except for the constant stopping and starting as people welcomed her. When Xavier explained that she would be constantly looked down on if she didn’t speak up for herself, she sighed softly.  If anything, she wanted to be considered kind rather than a hardass.  But, she knew she’d have to hold her ground if he wanted respect, Xavier was right.  The next person who used a pet name with her, she stopped him mid-sentence.  [b “Dawn, or Matthews.  I don’t need pet names at work.”] she spoke, the man quickly backtracking and fixing his tone.  It felt good, and she knew it wouldn’t be as hard next time.  

They were able to get through the rest of the tour with little to no fuss.  The introductions were over, so they were able to get through the rest of the stops.  Everything was pretty standard, and Dawn remembered some of the things from when she’d come for ‘bring your child to work’ days, which were most days especially when her mom was at her worst.  Once they got back to their desk, the chief called them both into the office, before shutting the door behind him.  He silently made his way to the desk, sitting down slowly.  Dawn took a seat in one of the chairs set in front of his desk.

[i “So…we have a pretty intense case for you two to take on.  A murder…well a series of murders.”] Forester started.  He opened the file on his desk, pulling out some paperwork.  [i “The man has killed multiple women in the area, and also has a decent sized drug ring in the area.  He’s been out of our reach for quite a while, and he’s been targeting our officers for a while.”] Forester stated, looking at Xavier.  [i “It’s Samuel Booth, Xavier.”]

Samuel Booth, known drug lord, had been on a rampage of murders because of multiple breaks in loyalty by his ‘employees’.  He was also the one who had murdered Xavier’s wife because of Xavier’s work on the case against him, hopefully keeping him away from the case.  But now, because Xavier had the most information and had gotten closer than any other officer, he was going back.

[i “I understand this may be hard on your Xavier, but you are the best man for this case.  And with Dawn’s information skills, you guys are the perfect duo for the case.”] Forester said, before getting up from the desk and handing the folder to Dawn.  [i “I leave you two to discuss a bit about the case here.”] Forester spoke, before placing a hand on Xavier’s shoulder.  [i “You need to tell her.  If she’s involved, it’s better she finds out now.”] he finished softly, before exiting the room.

Dawn opened the folder, flipping through the pages.  [b “So, you worked on this case before?”] Dawn asked curiously, her eyes not leaving the pages and pictures in front of her.
Lovely_PoisonXavier   104d ago

[center Xavier remained fairly quiet for the rest of their tour. The only time he spoke up was when she finally said something about her name. He couldn’t help but smirk a little. [b “There you go. Keep that up and they’ll keep their mouths closed.”] He refrained from calling her by the pet name that had popped into his head, if only so that he didn’t irritate her. Maybe when they got to know one another better, he’d use it every once in a while. Until then, he’d be respectful enough to use her actual name.]

[center There was some relief when he thought he’d be able to sit back down and just relax again. It was sad, then, when it was so short-lived. He resisted the urge to groan before he made his way into the office with Dawn. He sat down, resting his arm on his lap and leaning forward to listen. His posture and stern face almost made it seem like he wasn’t interested in what the man before them had to say. In reality, he was just focused.]

[center As soon as Forester mentioned the drug ring, Xavier knew. He felt his stomach knot up and his jaw tensed. Slowly, he leaned back, looking away from the two of them. Not only was he irritated that he was on this case, but he was also irritated with the chief for throwing Dawn at him before he informed him about it. [b “Hard is an understatement,”] he said, his voice filled with venom. The name alone was enough to dig up the memories that he had buried deep inside of him. He couldn’t protect his own wife. How was he supposed to protect the newbie?]

[center He shot Forester a look as the man rested his hand on his shoulder. It was a typical “go to hell,” look, but he bit his tongue for the time being. The chief would understand how pissed he was at him for this. Unfortunately, he wasn’t wrong. Xavier had already been through this before. He knew enough about the man and how to catch him. The problem with that fact was that he wasn’t sure he could put the past aside. If he came face to face with the man, he may just kill him. He could feel it.]

[center Dawn’s voice quickly tore him from his thoughts and he glanced over at her, running a hand over his jaw. [b “Christ…”] He had to tell her. She would be in danger, too, if he didn’t. Standing up, he moved over to the window, staring outside with his arms crossed over his chest. [b “Yes, I have. Samuel Booth is dangerous and the chief should have known better than to throw you on this case with me.”] [i Son of a…] He could feel his chest tightening. With a sigh, he finally glanced at her. [b “The bastard killed my wife and unborn child. It’s not something I talk about and not something I want talked about.”] How was he supposed to get through this?]

[center Moving away from the window, he walked towards the door, glancing at her one last time. [b “Come on. You can look at the rest of that back at your desk.”] He didn’t want to see any of it. He already knew all too well what would be inside.]

Dawn was just getting used to Xavier when the chief decided to drop this bomb on them.  Sure, Dawn knew about Samuel Booth, he had been on the news for years at this point.   But she didn’t know the connection between Xaiver and him.  Samuel Booth had been in the public eye for quick some time for the most heinous crimes: murder, drug trafficing, and multiple offenses involving burglary and forgery.  And for some unknown reason to her, something Xavier didn’t want to be a part of.

Dawn continued to flip through the file, before she turned her head to listen to his words.  The words seemed hard to leave his lips, and as soon as he finished his second sentence, she knew why.  Her own chest tightened at his words, but she knew better than to speak on it.  He had just mentioned he didn’t want to speak about it, and she wasn’t about to make an enemy of herself.  She had gone through loss herself, and it was the own persons journey of when they were able to talk or think about it,  

Dawn broke out of her thoughts when he spoke again, barely glancing at her as he spoke.  She nodded, before putting the files neatly away before carrying them in her arms as she made her way back to the desk.  As she walked behind him, she glanced at him as he walked.  His body seemed more tense, and she looked down at his hand to see his wedding band still on his finger as they sat down at their desks.  This must have been very new, and it was clear Xavier was nowhere near moving on.  She remembered how long it took her father to finally move his wedding band to a chain around his neck from his finger.

If Dawn was good at anything, it was finding information. She had been a high ranking information specialist at her last job, which ultimately landed her her job here.  Dawn had a photographic memory, and only had to see something once before she knew it.  She was able to find information easily, using things around her and by combing through all previous evidence.  Her favorite thing was getting a new case to comb through, and she was like a kid in a candy store with this packet of information.

Dawn looked up at Xavier, worried about hitting him in the face with her personality when he was in a bad mood, but she had no choice.  [b “So…I’m going to work on pulling as much information and evidence as I can from this.  Do you want to do this with me, or do you want me to share it with you once I’m done?”] Dawn asked, pulling out a pen, notebook and her laptop.  She grabbed a hair tie, pulling her hair up away from her face.  This was like sport to her, and she took it very seriously.

Dawn could tell the whole idea was really bothering Xavier, so she thought she’d offer something.  [b “Hey, I understand that this case is going to be really hard.  But, I also understand that I will never feel the pain that you feel about this case.”] she spoke, the loud tone her voice usually had was gone and replaced with a soft spoken, calm tone. Something not a lot of people ever heard from Dawn.  [b “So, let’s take this bastard down once and for all.  Alright?”] Dawn spoke, putting her hand out to him, as she looked toward him, with as much compassion as she could.

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