Ten Things Emily Prentiss Learned From Her Mother’s Staff
“Wheels up in twenty.”
The briefing had been short. They didn’t know much about the latest unsub. The sheriff from Eureka, Lincoln County, Montana had called them in after the fifth young woman had been abducted. And so far they had only found one body. There wasn’t much they could do at the moment, but they hoped to learn more details on scene. García was already busy cross checking files and do whatever it was she did when the plane took off. And when she called the team, half an hour into the flight, she had already found some additional and rather disturbing things.
In addition to the five women missing from Eureka, there were fifteen more women missing from the wider Lincoln County area who fit the description. The abductions went back as far as two years, and only three bodies had been found in total. That meant seventeen women were still out there somewhere. Maybe dead, but maybe still alive.
The three dead bodies that had been found had been in relatively good shape and all three had died of natural causes. They had all been sick before the abduction. Diabetes, a heart disease and an allergic reaction. All of this made the team believe that the unsub kept the women somewhere, maybe even for a really long time. They were not tortured or abused; they were fed and cleaned. Their clothes, while not pristine, were relatively clean, as well. The age range of the women was from 18 to 41; different appearances, different social status, different races and religious beliefs. The women had nothing in common besides being women. At least they hadn’t found anything. Yet!
But all the women had been specifically targeted. So there had to be something. And the big questions were:
How did he choose the women?
Where did he keep them?
“Okay. As soon as we’re in Eureka I’ll go to the sheriff’s office. Reid, you’ll come with me. Let’s see what the ME’s reports say. Rossi and Morgan, I want you to check the dump sites. Maybe we’ll find something useful there. Prentiss, JJ, you go to the latest abduction site. Talk to the staff, to the regulars. See if anything sticks out. I think people will be more open to the two of you then to any of us.”
Emily and JJ looked at each other smirking. Hooray! A gay bar!
“Do we think that the sexuality of the victims is important to the unsub?” JJ asked.
“No, I don’t think so.” Reid was the one answering, rattling down some statistics about the victims. “While three of the women were lesbians, seventeen were not. Some of them are married, have children. Some are divorced. The majority are in a steady relationship with a man.”
”I want you to check the medical files of the three dead women. Find something they have in common so we can get a warrant for the other women’s medical files.”
“You got it. Later.”
The remainder of the flight passed in near silence, all of them trying to get a little sleep or following their own thoughts, trying to find a connection between these women. They flew against the sun and against time and when they landed at Crystal Lakes Airport, just south of Eureka, it was still early morning. This was gonna be a long day.
Several hours later they were all back at the sheriff’s office, where Hotch and Reid had set up shop, to share their findings.
Rossi and Morgan didn’t have much to say. The dump sites were just too convenient. Small rest stops along the US Highway 93. Everyone used that road and it was easy finding a deserted spot during the night.
Emily and JJ had, due to the early hour, only met the owner of the bar. She had been very helpful but didn’t know much about the victim, who hadn’t been a regular. She had promised to call around, and she told them to come by in the evening. She would make sure that the women who knew the victim better would be there and that JJ and Emily could interview them in the office.
Reid had worked on an environmental profile, but due to the great woods in the area it was inconclusive, in spite the high number of victims. There wasn’t anything standing out. So all they had was a big, fat nothing. That was, until García called.
“Hey team! I, the wonderful and magnificent García have worked some major computer mojo and I found some things that might be interesting, if not even helpful.”
“Okay class, listen carefully and take notes. First fact: the three lesbian victims all frequented that bar... What’s the name?”
“Lucky Lady.” JJ provided.
“Yes, that’s the one. Okay, that might be a coincidence since there are not that many places to go. Otherwise they had not much in common. Different ages, jobs, races. There are some parallels. Same bank, same gyn, but in a city this small, that really doesn’t mean much.”
“Anything useful García?”
“Yes, Sir. I’ll get there. Just a sec. Okay, so we have twenty victims. I didn’t find any places they all have in common yet, but, and I gotta say it surprises me big time that Reid missed this, the twenty can be divvied up in four rough areas where they “lived”. They had their homes, doctors and banks there, the school for the kids, church. That kind of stuff.”
“In all these four areas the women had one place in common. One is the “Lucky Lady”, the second is a mall, third is a church and fourth is a school. I’ll send the data… Now!”
“So the unsub has one place he targets in every area?” Morgan asked.
“It sure looks that way.” Hotch concluded skimming through the data.
“We need to check those places more thoroughly. The three dead women, García. Anything? They were from different areas, connecting them might be the key.”
“Yes, in fact I found two things. All three of them lived in foster care at least one day in their lives. I checked the other seventeen and they all spent time in a foster home once in their life. Most of them only for a short time, due to the mother being sick or something like that.
And the second thing I found: all three victims had an abortion at least once. I couldn’t check that against the other seventeen victims, because the medical files are confidential. We need a warrant.”
“You’ll get one. And García?”
“Thank you. I’ll call you with the results of the other medical files.”
The connection broke and Hotch addressed the team.
“Okay, we should get going. JJ, Emily go back to the “Lucky Lady”. Rossi, Morgan you take the church. Talk to the priest and to as many regular visitors as possible. Reid and I will take the mall. If we still need to, we will check the school tomorrow morning. JJ?”
“Call me around nine so I can tell you if you need to come back here or if you can head straight to the hotel.”
“Okay. And I’ll call if we find anything.”
“Let’s get moving everybody!”
The team split up and everyone headed to their appointed destinations. Emily and JJ headed back to the gay bar. It was still early but the staff was already there and they interviewed the two bouncers and the four bartenders before the Lady opened for business.
They didn’t learn much, but the bouncers could tell them that Nikki, the latest victim, came alone and left alone that evening. One of the bartenders told them that she only drank soda, no alcohol whatsoever, talked to some of the patrons but kept mostly to herself.
When the bar opened people started coming in, Emily and JJ talked to as many of them as possible. Nikki, at the young age of 26, had been a teacher for handicapped children, but when some of the parents found out that she was gay, they got her fired. The women who knew Nikki didn’t get it, because Nikki had been great with kids. She would have loved to have a bunch herself, but due to an accident she had as a child, pregnancy would be lethal for her. No, Nikki didn’t have a girlfriend at the moment and she worked as a waitress in some café on Main six days a week. No family around. Her dad died when she was just a toddler and her mom died when she was sixteen. No siblings. There might be an aunt somewhere in Florida or California, who was a hooker or a druggie or something. At least she wasn’t fit to take Nikki, so she ended in a foster home for two years.
JJ called Hotch at 9 P.M. sharp. He told her to head straight to the hotel when they were finished. They would meet up at 8 A.M. the next day. He had already called García and told her to get some rest since the warrant didn’t come through yet and it was past midnight already in Quantico.
JJ and Emily kept asking people about Nikki a little while longer. Everyone was eager to help, since everyone liked her. Even the ex-girlfriend they talked to still liked her as a friend. But they didn’t learn anything new. Around 11 P.M. they decided to call it a night and get some rest. A little sleep couldn’t hurt and maybe they saw things more clearly in the light of a new day.
Emily started the car.
The A/C came on full blast and a strange smell hit them. But before either of them could react in any way everything went dark.
Hotch awoke to the frantic beeping of his cell. He looked at the caller ID and answered when he saw that it was the tech analyst.
“This is García, Sir. I’m sorry to call this early, I know it’s only 7 A.M. at your end, but I’m really worried. I tried to call JJ to tell her that I got the warrant and I only got her voice mail. JJ never turns off her cell during a case… Sir.”
Hotch was on high alert instantly. He knew his press liaison and García was absolutely right, she would never turn off her cell.
“I’ll go and check on her right away. Call the others and tell them to meet me in the hallway.”
Hotch jumped into his clothes. He was just tying his shoelaces when someone knocked.
“Yes, I’m coming.”
Hotch raced to the door. It was Morgan.
“What’s going on Hotch? I got a weird call from García to meet you ASAP here.”
“I’ll explain later. Go check Emily’s room. García can’t reach JJ.”
Reid and Rossi joined them shortly after. They checked both rooms but only found that the women had obviously never come back to the hotel. They found the car, closed and locked, in front of the “Lucky Lady”, but otherwise there was no sign of the two agents.
Emily awoke due to a bright light shining in her face. Even before she opened her eyes she felt the splitting headache crawling behind her eyes. She tried to remember what happened the day before. As usual she needed a little time to catch up with the case in her head.
‘Eureka, Montana. 3 hours time difference to Quantico. 20 women abducted. Abortion or foster care. JJ and I were interviewing women at that bar and headed back to the hotel around eleven. We got into the car and …’
Emily’s eyes shot open when the latest events finally registered fully in her brain. There had been a strange smell and then she lost her conscious.
Emily regretted the sudden reaction instantly, when searing pain shot through her head and the world started spinning wildly around her. She closed her eyes again and tried to breath slowly to keep from throwing up. They must have been drugged. Her next thought wasn’t less alarming.
‘JJ! Where’s JJ?’
The two of them had become really close friends since Emily joined the BAU, and she often wondered if they could have been more than just friends if they didn’t work together. Emily had a crush on the younger agent since the first day they met. And JJ had won her heart over and over since that day.
Her worry for her younger friend won over and slowly Emily opened her eyes a bit. She lay on her back, something remotely soft beneath her and someone had covered her with an old but clean blanket. She could see some wooden panels about six feet above her head, serving as some sort of roof.
She started looking around slowly, avoiding any quick movements, taking in her surroundings. She found that she was in some sort of shack with three wooden walls and one made out of some sort of glass. Outside of the glass wall she could see an area of about twelve square feet surrounded by bars. And she could make out several similar constructions all around.
‘Oh! My! God! This is a zoo for humans!’
She slowly turned her head to the other side and finally found JJ still sleeping beside her, also covered with an old blanket. Emily was still a little fuzzy from the drug they inhaled, so she decided to let JJ sleep it off and closed her own eyes again. They needed a clear head for this.
Meanwhile the team was back at the sheriff’s office discussing the recent events with García, lightly sobbing, on speaker.
“Okay, here’s what we got: the bouncers and bartenders all said accordingly that JJ and Emily left around 11 P.M. and they seemed a little tired but otherwise okay. Nobody saw anything suspicious. The car is locked, so we don’t know if they even got that far. Their cells are off. García, I want you to triangulate them and call me as soon as one of the cells is activated again.”
“I think we should work the case as planned. Obviously Emily and JJ didn’t find out anything, or they would have called right away. García, get working on the medical files.”
“I’ll call when I've found something.”
“And we, gentlemen, have a new question. Did Emily and JJ just come too close or do they fit the profile?”
When Emily woke up again the searing pain had lessened to a dull throbbing, but she was extremely thirsty. She looked in JJ’s direction and saw her sitting with her back to the wall taking small sips from a bottle of water. Emily wanted to protest but her voice cracked at her attempt to speak. JJ understood her anyway.
“It’s safe Emily. I opened the bottle myself after I checked for puncture marks. I took a small sip and waited for half an hour to see if I felt anything before drinking more. It’s clean.”
“Why didn’t you wake me?” Emily’s voice was very rough and weak.
“Well, obviously we’ve been drugged. You needed to sleep it off and we’re in no immediate danger. A foggy mind won’t be any help if we want to get out of here. Come here, drink some water. It will help with the fur in your mouth.”
Emily sat down beside JJ and took some sips of the water. It tasted divine. Between the two of them they drank half the bottle and decided to spare the rest for later.
Emily started looking through her pockets.
“Okay, he took my gun and my cell, but he didn’t take the badge and the cuffs. You?”
“Same here. It seems he doesn’t care who we are. Why did he abduct us anyway? I’ve never been in a foster home and I surely never had an abortion. How about you? I can’t imagine you were ever in foster care.” JJ didn't even consider the second possibility.
“I wasn’t. But…”
“But?” JJ took hold of Emily’s hands sensing that her friend was deeply troubled by the subject.
“When I was sixteen, we were in Rome, Italy at the time, I… made a big mistake.” Emily's voice was quiet but steady.
“Oh Emily I’m so sorry. How…? Why…? What happened? Do you wanna talk about it?” JJ pulled Emily towards her, hugging her tight. “Tell me.”
Emily buried her face at JJ’s shoulder and started talking.
“I was sixteen and all I wanted was to fit in, to be a teenager like everybody else. Long story short, I got pregnant and had an abortion. Mother never found out. I was so young and all I wanted was to be accepted by the other kids, I couldn’t have a child… And now… I’ll probably never have any.”
“Well I would need a partner for starters. And then there’s the job. I would want my child to have a loving family that is actually around.”
“Well It couldn’t be that hard to find a partner. You’re so smart, caring and beautiful. I can’t believe men aren’t lining up to date you.” JJ said with a hint of amusement in her voice.
Emily was silent for a moment. This would be a great chance to come clean. Maybe the last chance.
“Well, maybe that’s because I don’t date men.” There she said it. She lifted her head from JJ’s shoulder and looked into her face, searching for the rejection she was sure had to be there.
But there wasn’t any rejection. Emily couldn’t read what it was that was glimmering in JJ’s eyes. Only when JJ spoke did she recognize it.
“And you're only telling me this now why?” JJ’s voice was slow and deep.
It was anger. Anger that she didn’t trust her, that she didn’t tell her sooner.
“I’m sorry JJ. At first it wasn’t… I didn’t know how you would react, I was new at the BAU and didn’t know how any of you thought about it, and then… I don’t know, we were friends and I didn’t want to spoil it.” Emily was looking to the ground so she wasn’t able to see the big smirk playing out on JJ’s face. Only when the blonde put a finger under Emily’s chin and lifted her face again did she see it.
“It’s okay Emily, I was joking. I knew that you were gay all along. I’m not mad at you for not telling me, because, well I didn’t tell you either. I thought you knew. Like I knew. You know.”
“You gotta be kidding!” Emily, usually verbally easily as skilled as JJ was, had lost her ability to form an appropriate sentence.
JJ only smirked and shook her head no.
“Oh boy, we needed to be put away in a cage to figure that out? But back to the problem at hand.” Emily was about to go back into profiler mode, but JJ stopped her.
“Wait. There’s just one more thing.”
Emily just looked at her waiting. JJ leaned forward and whispered into Emily’s ear.
“When we get out of here I first want a long, hot shower and after that I’m gonna fuck you senseless. And here’s a little teaser.”
Emily could just moan when JJ captured her lips with her own. The brunette only needed a split second to react and soon both women were engaged in a deep, meaningful kiss. A kiss that was hope and reason and motivation to get out of there as soon as possible.
The kiss ended all too soon, but both of them knew that this wasn’t the time or place for deepening their relationship. They had to get out of there, rescue all the other women and catch the unsub along the way.
“So.” JJ spoke after a few seconds of meaningful silence. “What do we do now?”
“Well, let’s first talk to as many of the women as possible and learn more about this place and the unsub. We need to know as much as possible, if we don’t want to end up dead.”
JJ just nodded her agreement to that plan.
They left their shack through a small door at one side and looked around, taking in as many details as possible.
The cages were on a small clearing surrounded by dark woods that seemed to go on forever. There were ten cages over all arranged in a circle with the glass fronts of the shacks facing the center. A bunch of cameras were positioned in strategic places, with no dead angles at all. As far as Emily could tell there was only one empty cage, every other cage held two women, some of them pregnant.
“Oh my God, JJ. Look at them. He impregnates them. He chooses women who had an abortion. He’s probably some kind of a religious nut, they took a life and now he makes them bear children. He’s a control freak.”
JJ could only look around speechless, doing some math in her head.
“Where are the kids Emily? It’s been two years, plenty of time for some pregnancies to go full term. Where are the kids?”
“I don’t know. Maybe he has them somewhere in his real house, or he sells them or gives them up for adoption. The kids have no papers, they don’t exist officially.”
By now some of the other women had noticed the newcomers and looked at them curiously. It was a women from the cage to their left who stepped closer to the bars and spoke to them first.
“Hi there. I’m Amanda. Who’re you?”
“I’m Special Agent Emily Prentiss, FBI and this is Agent Jennifer Jareau. Please call us Emily and JJ.”
“FBI? So someone finally found us? We’ll be rescued soon?” A glimmer of hope shone through Amanda’s eyes as she looked at them more closely.
“Not exactly. We got abducted, too. But our team is out there looking for us.”
“He got you both? That’s a first. So who of you had the abortion?”
JJ answered this time. “Is that important?”
Amanda shrugged. “I don’t know. But the one who didn’t have an abortion will probably get off easy.”
Emily interrupted. “Can we ask you some questions? Maybe we can figure out a way to get out.”
“Ask away, but there’s no chance to get out. Believe me, we’ve all tried.”
Emily started to interrogate Amanda, while JJ only listened and observed the surroundings.
“How does he impregnate the women?”
“With a syringe. I think he’s impotent. And I don’t think it’s his sperm either. The kids look too different.”
“How many kids are there and where are they?”
“There must be at least seven, but I got no idea where they are. He takes them after two weeks and we never see them again.”
“Does he work alone? Or have you seen more than one man around here?”
“No it’s just him. He comes in an old pick up truck to bring us food and water and clean clothes and stuff. He always comes at least twice a day. Sometimes more often, to check on us. And if someone gets hurt. He sees everything with those fancy cameras of his.”
“Did he ever say why he does it?”
“Yeah, constantly. He always preaches about sinners and hell and stuff. He says we must redeem ourselves to be allowed into heaven. And for each child we killed we need to payback sevenfold.”
“Do you have any idea how he knows who had an abortion?”
“No, not really, but I guess he’s some kind of computer geek, because all of this stuff here is computer controlled. He probably hacked into some fancy shmancy security systems. Or maybe he even installed them.”
“What about security?”
“Okay, where do I start. First, there’s the cameras. He sees everything. You don’t have any privacy here. You learn to ignore that, because he doesn’t care when you clean up or use the poor excuse of a bathroom. He only comes for serious stuff. Once Gwen over there fell and broke her ankle. He was here 15 minutes later and taped her up and stuff. Then there’s the cages themselves. The bars are live. Don’t get too close, it hurts pretty bad and ruins your hairdo. We think it would be possible to dig under the bars, but there's just not enough time.”
“15 Minutes, through the woods, so I guess he lives about 5 miles from here, maybe less. But how is it possible? He can’t monitor you 24/7, he has to sleep and go abduct more women. “
“Yes, but we don’t know when he’s gone, and the risk to simply try is to big. If he finds out you tried to escape he punishes you pretty bad.”
“He beats you to a pulp and you go to solitary.”
“Didn't any of you ever try to fight back?”
“Sure, some of us know self defense and hand to hand, but he has this stun gun. Plus he always tells us we better pray that nothing ever happens to him.”
“Why's that? If he didn't show up for a day or two you could dig out under the bars.”
“He said the system must be manually reset every day from his main computer. Otherwise this whole clearing would blow to hell.”
“And how does he get food and stuff into the cages? He can't use the stun gun all the time?”
“He orders us to go into the shack; he can lock and unlock the doors remotely. Then he turns off the juice on the bars and steps in.”
“Okay, thank you Amanda. You've been very helpful. If I think of anything else I need to know, I'll call for you.”
“No problem. Just get us out of here.”
Determination shone in Emily's eyes when she answered. “We will!”
Emily turned back to JJ.
“Okay, let's sit down and work on a plan.”
The two agents got back into their shack, all eyes looking at them hopefully, curiously, and sat down by the back wall again. Emily and JJ knew that they had brought new hope of escaping to these women and even if the situation seemed hopeless, difficult, and dangerous, they couldn't let it show.
“So Emily. Got a profile yet? What's your take on this guy?”
Emily took a deep breath and started talking silently, so they couldn't be overheard.
“He's mid-thirties, well educated, works from his home. Something with computer software. But he's a passable handyman, too. Probably grew up here. It must be some sort of farm with a great stretch of land. This clearing has to be on private property. Otherwise someone would have stumbled upon it in two years. The house is outside of town, but not too far.
I guess his mother died when he was pretty young during an abortion. Since she already had at least one kid, there was probably a medical reason for the abortion, but the unsub was too young to understand. All that's left in his memory is that she died during an abortion. Some priest probably told him later that abortion is a sin and that his mother died because she was a sinner.
He's left alone with his dad who's probably a religious fanatic himself. He beats him when he does something wrong, or when his grades slip. And he definitely beats him for his sinful thoughts. So everything that happens to a boy at the age of twelve, thirteen and up, wet dreams, sudden erections, gets punished. A sure way to make him impotent, sexually frustrated and a hater of women, because they are the ones that tempt him, make him have those sinful thoughts.
He's average in every way. Height, weight, looks. Probably his father died about two years ago and he started his crusade after. His job pays well. He has to provide food and clothes for a lot of people, but he can afford it easily.
He's a loner, but people in town know him from church. They ask him for help with their computers and he's generally well liked. He goes to church every week and to confession once a month. But he doesn't talk about the women, because he doesn't see it as a sin. He's helping these women, so why should he confess to any of it?”
JJ listened carefully until she had an important question.
“What about the three women who died in his care? How does he justify their deaths?”
“In his mind that was God's way of telling him that they were already lost. They were too far gone to be saved by him.”
“God, I'm really sorry for the boy he was, but I'm sure not sorry for the man he became. So, how do we get out of this? Do you think we can persuade him to let me go? I didn't have an abortion, so I don't need saving.”
“I don't think so. We were in a gay bar. Maybe that's reason enough for him. Or he could decide to kill you, so you won't ever become a sinner. He knows he can't let you go, so he would find a twisted way to justify you being here somehow.”
“So basically I'm in more danger than anybody else here?”
“Yes, I think so. You better try to not attract his attention.”
“Okay. I'll try. But...how the hell do we get out of here?”
“We need to get out of the cage, get to the house, shut down the self-destruct, call for help, rescue everyone and take out the unsub.”
“Piece of cake. We can't stop him from the inside, but with him out there we can't get out either. So?”
Emily smirked. “Actually I think we can stop him from inside the cage. But I need to know his routine. Let's wait. I wanna observe him for a bit. This evening and tomorrow morning. And maybe the team figured it out by then and we don't even have to try.”
“Okay. We'll observe. One day couldn't hurt I guess. But I really don't think anyone will find us here.”
“Well, I'm pretty sure García is hacking into every database possible, warrant or no warrant. If someone can find this guy's traces it's her.”
JJ was silent for a moment, her thoughts wandering to the team, her friends, her family.
“Do you think they're gonna be okay with this, with us?” JJ asked with a hint of doubt.
“Hell yes. They're totally gonna be happy for us. If anybody knows how important and rare true love and happiness is, than it's our team. I think because we see the worst of men we are able to appreciate the good things in life even more and more easily. There's a lot of ugly and evil in the world, a lot of stuff you can judge people for, but who you choose to love surely isn't one of it.”
“Okay, I guess you're right. What do you say, we take shifts sleeping so we don't miss this guy?”
“Good idea. Why don't you go ahead and sleep. I'll wake you in some hours.”
“Fine with me. I'm still a little fuzzy. Probably from the drugs.”
While JJ laid down Emily sat down outside, observing, listening, thinking. A plan was forming in her head. She memorized the layout of the clearing, the positions of all cameras, where paths lead away from the cages. She couldn't hear any sounds besides the birds and the animals in the woods. No cars, no trucks. The highway had to be some distance away, which meant they couldn't flee on foot. Some of the women were in no shape to go far, as they looked like they were about to pop. They needed the unsub's car, too.
Emily managed to stay awake for most of the night, seeing the unsub coming and going. She decided to wake JJ around midnight to get some sleep herself. Of course JJ was angry with her because she didn't wake her sooner, but Emily thought it best if JJ slept off the remainder of the drugs. She made JJ promise her to wake her in the morning when she heard the unsub coming and went to sleep.
JJ kept her promise and woke Emily as soon as she heard the truck from a distance. Together they observed his routines and Emily found he used the same order as the night before, so when he left again Emily started working on her plan.
She turned to JJ.
“Say, do you have the manicure set on you?”
JJ looked at Emily like she had grown a second head but checked the inside pocket of her jacket.
“Yes. Why? Don't tell me you plan includes painting our nails.”
“No, I need the small scissors. And then I need to get into you pants.”
Now JJ looked even more confused. “Wha... What? Emily I thought we agreed this is not the time and place.”
Emily grinned wickedly. “As much as I would love to do that with you, I'd rather have a little privacy for that. No silly, I need the elastic from your panties.”
JJ laughed. “Well why don't you take yours?”
“Oh I will, or rather you will, but I need both of them.”
“Do I have to understand this?” JJ asked puzzled.
“You'll see. Now, scissors please. And open your pants. Or would you rather I do that?”
Emily grinned at JJ and waggled her eyebrows.
“No, I'd rather spare that for a more romantic setting.”
JJ opened her pants and Emily skillfully undid the stitching on JJ's panties a little and extracted the elastic in a matter of seconds. JJ looked at her in wonder.
“Wow, that was fast. Where did you learn that?”
“That? That's nothing. It's not that hard when you know how. One of my mother's tailors showed me when I was little.”
“Well I think it's great. I barely know how to sew a button back on.” JJ grinned. Emily was full of surprises. “I hope I don't ruin your panties for good.”
“Never mind the panties, but don't ruin the elastic; we need it.”
JJ needed somewhat longer than Emily but finally she managed, feeling only slightly weird fumbling in the brunette's pants.
“Here ya go. Now what?”
Emily took the elastics and stuffed both of them in her back pocket.
“Now, we need a crutch, about eight inches would be perfect.”
“And where exactly do you plan on finding that? We can't get out of the cage, remember.”
“Yes, I know. Ask around. There's a lot of wood laying around here.”
They spread the word around the cages and indeed they got a crutch about the right size.
“And what exactly do you plan to do with that?”
“Well, isn't that obvious? I'll build a slingshot.” Emily said like it was the most natural thing to do.
“A slingshot?” JJ asked dumbstruck. “What for?”
“Well, I'd prefer my gun, but it was taken from me. So I improvise.”
“You want to shoot at the unsub with a slingshot? Are you nuts? Do you want to get yourself killed?”
“I know how to shoot a sling, and I'll prove it to you. I need some practice shots anyway. Can you pick up some stones while I assemble the sling?”
“Sure.” JJ answered, shaking her head, unbelieving.
When JJ had collected some stones she thought would work with a sling she turned back to Emily and found her adjusting the elastic.
“You really think that will work?”
“I really hope so, because otherwise we're screwed. Let's see those stones.”
Emily took every stone into her hand separately, weighing it, feeling its texture.
“Those are all good. Shot a sling yourself once or twice in East Allegheny?”
“Yeah well, there wasn't much to do.” JJ grinned. “But I was never good at it. I was always better with my feet. So, you wanna show off a bit?”
“Well I have to test how far I get with this sling and how hard it can shoot. I need to take out one of the cameras to lure him here.”
Emily took a few test shots at one of the trees behind their cage and after only three or four shots she hit her mark every time.
“Okay. We're good to go.”
“How many stones do you have left?”
“Only three?” JJ asked alarmed. “Won't you need more?”
“If I don't get him with the first shot it's over anyway. So three's plenty. Let’s get on with this. Spread the word that everyone should take cover in the shacks. I don’t want anyone to get hurt.”
JJ gave a sign and all of the women got into the relative safety of their shacks. Emily took aim and shot one of the cameras down with the first try. Now they had to wait.
“Where did you learn to shoot a sling like that? That’s amazing.” JJ couldn’t help but ask.
“One of my mother’s gardeners taught me to shoot down birds who picked on the seeds with it.”
They waited, checking their watches every few seconds. Time seemed to crawl, but finally after almost exactly fifteen minutes they could hear the truck approaching. Emily had the sling shot hidden behind her back, waiting for the right moment.
The truck stopped just outside the circle of cages and the driver seemed to rummage through some stuff before he got out and slammed the door close behind him. When he came into full view they could see that he had a tool box and a gun on him.
JJ took a half step forward, providing Emily with some cover to prepare the sling. The unsub stepped into the center, towards the pole that held the cameras and Emily took her shot. He fell like a tree and then there was great cheering all around, all women rushing out of their cages, applauding Emily for the brilliant shot.
“Yes!” JJ exclaimed excitedly, hugged Emily tightly and kissed her passionately, which earned them a round of approving wolf whistles from the other women around.
Emily enjoyed her kiss of victory for a moment, but soon they broke it off blushing a little under the stares of their audience.
“Okay, JJ.” Emily whispered for only the blonde to hear. “Let’s continue this later. We gotta start digging.”
“How and where?”
Emily went to the shack purposefully, kicked out two of the panels and handed one to JJ.
“Let’s try under the door. The bars can’t go into the ground there.”
Without another word they got started. The ground wasn’t too hard and with their improvised shovels they made good progress. They had to rip out some roots and rocks with their hands though, and soon enough their hands were bruised, full of splinters and bleeding. But they kept going. They had to get out before the unsub came to again.
After about an hour the ditch was deep enough for JJ to slip through without touching the bars. So she crawled through the ditch making herself as small as possible.
“Do you still have your cuffs?” Emily asked in an afterthought. “Then cuff him to the pole, but be careful.”
JJ nodded. She approached the unsub cautiously, looking for any sign that he might wake up soon. When she got close she could see the head wound, were the blood was starting to clot already. A pleased smile spread across her face.
“Hey Em. You hit him good. Bullseye.” The amusement was audible in her voice.
JJ kicked the stun gun away from the unsub and felt his pulse; it was steady. She smiled again. He would stand trial for this. Then she pulled him closer to the pole and cuffed him to it.
“Look for a shovel in the truck.” Emily shouted.
And indeed among other things there was a shovel in the bed of the truck. And after only five more minutes of digging the ditch was deep enough that Emily could crawl out, too.
“We need his keys and the remote thing. You search the car and I’ll search the guy. Okay?” Emily proposed.
JJ agreed and the two of them started searching thoroughly. But they didn’t find anything. Neither the key nor the remote. Additionally JJ couldn’t get into the cab of the truck, because it was locked.
“I found a bunch of stuff in the bed of the truck, but no key. Just tools, water, food and stuff.” JJ called. “And the cab is locked. Throw me the keys will ya?”
“What? I didn’t find any keys. How’s that even possible?” Emily was taken aback by this. Where was the key?
“I have no idea. So what do we do now? Do we walk to the house and hope to find a phone there?”
“First we get the water and the food to the girls. Is there a first aid kit, too?”
“Yes, there is.”
“Let’s patch up our hands first. I don’t wanna risk an infection.”
They cleaned their hands with some of the water and helped each other patch up the wounds as best they could.
“Ah, see? Much better. Now let’s see if I can get us into this truck. Why don’t you start on
distributing the water and food?”
“And miss this? No way!” JJ exclaimed, waiting for the next showing of a hidden talent of Emily.
The brunette rummaged through the tool box and finally took out a screw driver and a hammer. Pounding the screw driver into the lock with brute force she managed to break the lock and the car opened.
“Thank God this is an old truck. A new one would have locked down completely.”
“Emily Prentiss. You are so full of surprises. Where did you learn this?”
“Oh. One of my mother’s mechanics showed me. Mother lost her keys all the time. Now. I’m gonna search the cab. Do you wanna observe that too? Or are you gonna start handing out the stuff now?” Emily asked with a hint of amusement.
While JJ was busy spreading the food and water Emily searched the inside of the truck, but she came up empty.
“Nothing.” She said when JJ joined her again. “There’s probably some hidden compartment. But we don’t have the time to search for it. Tell the girls, we’ll go and get help. They should stay put.”
“And how are we gonna do that?” JJ asked.
“Go. Tell them. You’ll see.”
JJ informed the women and got back into the truck were she saw that Emily had ripped out a bunch of cables from under the steering column, short circuiting the car successfully.
“Are you sure you’re an FBI agent and not some kind of evil brain? Where?” JJ asked amused.
“Oh. One of my mother’s mechanics….” Emily started, but JJ interrupted her.
“Okay, okay. I get it. Now… can you drive this thing?” JJ asked pointing toward the gear stick.
“Sure. One of my mother’s drivers taught me how to drive stick when I was fourteen.”
“Good for us. Let’s go.” JJ simply commented grinning.
Emily turned the car around and they followed the barely visible path the truck had obviously taken every time. There was no chance for them to drive the wrong way really because all that was left and right of the path were trees, trees and more trees.
“Do you think this whole time bomb thing is true?” JJ asked after about five minutes of silence.
“Don’t know, but it could be. As far as I could tell he never lied to the women. Lying is a sin. So yeah, it’s probably true. Now we have to hope that he reset it this morning, so we have enough time.”
They fell silent again. And after another minute JJ spoke again.
“Is it okay if I turn on the radio? Maybe we can catch some news.”
“Sure. There’s nothing to hear out here anyway.”
JJ turned the old radio on, but all she got was static and some Canadian country station.
“We must be close to the boarder.” She said. “So we’re probably north of Eureka.”
Emily nodded in agreement, but didn’t say anything. It had been a long time since she last drove stick and now she had to concentrate while shifting between gears. She didn’t want to kill the car. After what seemed to be an eternity but in truth had been only twenty minutes, the trees started to stand farther apart until they fell back all together and they reached some kind of farm.
“We need to be careful.” Emily spoke up, after she killed the engine. “Maybe there’s someone around to look after the children. If they're still around that is.”
Emily took the stun gun she had picked up earlier while searching the unsub and handed JJ the crowbar from the toolbox.
“Now let’s find a phone.”
They listened, holding their breathe, for any sign of live. When they didn’t hear anything they stepped out of the car and approached the main building.
It was a big two story farmhouse with a wide porch surrounding it. Additionally there was some sort of garden shack and a big barn.
“I really hope we don’t have to search all of this.” JJ said taking a look around. “It will take days and we’ve only got hours.”
“You’re right. Let’s start with the main building. If there’s a phone around, it’s probably in there.” Emily decided.
“You’re right. There are phone lines leading to the main building. Now let’s hope it’s still working.”
Without seeing a living creature the reached the front door, finding it locked.
“Let’s make quick work of this and just break the window.” JJ suggested.
Emily agreed. “Use the crowbar to smash it.”
JJ swung the crowbar and hit the glass with it pretty hard, but it didn’t break. Instead JJ felt a sharp pain shooting through her shoulder and dropped the crowbar instantly, not able to hold its weight any longer.
“Damn! Motherfucking bastard!” She swore through her pain. “It’s bulletproof glass, Em.”
“Oh God. Are you hurt? Can you move your arm?” Emily asked worried, taking a step closer.
“No. Not really. I think I dislocated my shoulder.” JJ hissed, trying to keep the pain at bay.
“Let’s pop it right back in. If we wait it will only hurt more.”
“What? And how do you know… Oh forget it. Of course you know. Who taught you?”
Emily laughed a bit. “My mother’s physician.”
“Okay. Then let’s do this. Quick.”
“There’s no other way. Okay, hold on to something with your left and try to keep steady. On the count of one – two -…” But before she reached three Emily had already pushed and pulled and with a loud snap and a loud cry of pain from JJ, the shoulder was back in.
“Well, in case anybody is here… now they know we’re coming.” JJ joked through her pain.
“Give it a few seconds, it will be better soon. You’ll need to take it easy for a while, but it will be okay soon.” Emily calmed down her younger friend. “Maybe we’ll find something inside we can make a sling out of.”
“Inside? How the hell are we gonna get inside? The glass is bullet proof.”
“Well”, Emily said, waggling her eyebrows. “There’s always the lock on the front door.”
“Now you’re kidding! How will you pick that lock?”
“Uhm, with your nail file and the pin from your brooch.”
JJ handed both items to Emily almost forgetting her pain in her curiosity to see if she could really pull it off.
Emily knelt down in front of the door to get a better look and started poking around in the lock; at least that was what it looked like for JJ. After only a few seconds there was an audible click and Emily opened the door.
“Where did you learn picking locks? Not one of your mother's staff again?”
“Oh, it sure was. My mother had this handyman, he taught me. Later he was fired because he was caught stealing.”
“Who would have guessed? With a talent like his,” JJ said dryly.
They carefully entered the house, Emily taking the lead. The inside was bright, clean and homey; not at all how they expected a single man's house to be.
They spotted the phone at once. Emily rushed over and picked it up, she even got a free line. But when she tried to dial it didn't work. Instead the line changed to busy.
“Damn! It's locked somehow. Let's look for another line or our cells or something.”
“Maybe we should drive into town.” JJ suggested, worried for the women still in the cages.
“We have to check the house first either way. The kids could be still around somewhere.” Emily disagreed.
“Oh my God. You're right of course. Let's get started. Should we split up?”
“No, you're hurt; we better stick together.”
They made their way through the house without finding the kids or anything helpful. Only when they came into the basement did they find a safe and an old two way radio.
JJ looked from the safe to Emily and back. Noticing her look, Emily started laughing.
“No. I'm not that good. I won't be able to get us into the safe. I would need a stethoscope and some C4.”
JJ looked at her in shock, mouth open, eyes wide.
Emily laughed again.
“Just kidding. I can't do that.”
JJ looked almost disappointed but also kind of relieved.
“Damn. I guess our things are in the safe. Let's try the radio.”
Emily nodded her agreement and together they took the few steps to the old radio. It looked like it hadn't been used in a while. It was dusty all over and some spiders hurried away as they cleaned the worst of it. Emily pressed the power switch, but nothing happened.
“Well, that would have been too easy, wouldn't it?” JJ said.
“Yeah, Let's see what we got here okay?” Emily started checking the power and pressed some of the buttons, but still nothing happened. She looked around the room and spotted another tool box.
“Will you hand me that tool box JJ? I'll open this thing up.”
JJ got the tool box and Emily picked a small screw driver. She started opening the back of the radio at once.
“Ah thank God!” She said after taking a quick look inside. “There's just some contacts that need fixing. After that it should work.”
“And you learned that how?” JJ was pretty sure she already knew the answer to that, but she simply couldn't not ask.
“You remember I told you about my mother's handyman? Well he actually was a good handyman, besides being a thief. Is there by any chance some duct tape in there? And maybe some paper clips? Copper would be best.”
“Yeah, here's duct tape, but no paper clips sorry.” JJ answered after rummaging through the box.
“Never mind, it should work without them.” Emily started fixing some wires to the proper contacts and finally the little bulb indicating power turned on.
“You did it!”
“Now let's see if we can get a message out there.”
“10-33, I repeat, 10-33 can somebody read me?”
After some seconds of silence that seemed to last forever, they finally heard a welcome voice over the radio.
“This is Deputy Jensen from the Eureka Sheriff's Office. Who is this?”
Three days later
The team had closed the case, the unsub was in custody, the women saved. The sheriff was still busy tracking down the children; the unsub had given them to different hospitals in the area.
Back home, Emily had invited JJ over for dinner at her place at once, and JJ had accepted gladly.
And now JJ was standing in front of Emily's door, nervous as hell like she was back in high school again. Before she could even ring the bell, Emily opened the door, looking at her almost in wonder.
“You came! And look at you, you're... beautiful.”
JJ blushed at the compliment, glad that Emily seemed to like her simple ensemble of black pants and a black button down. Emily, on the other hand, looked quite stunning in black pinstriped pants and a red blouse. And although her hair was a little ruffled and her face was flushed, JJ was quite sure she had never seen anyone that beautiful in her life.
“Thank you.” Emily said and JJ registered that she had spoken her thoughts out aloud. “Please come in. Dinner's about ready.”
“Yes, otherwise we could have gone to a restaurant, but I wanted... more privacy for our first date. This is a date, isn't it?”
Instead of answering JJ leaned in and kissed Emily. The kiss was only short and sweet but it sufficed to clear the air. “Yes, Emily. This is a date.” JJ said anyhow.
“Good!” Emily didn't think she had been happier in her whole life. “Now come in before the food gets cold.”
Soon they were both sitting at the perfectly set dinner table. Candles were burning, low music was playing in the background. When JJ tasted the first bite of her dish, she couldn't suppress a moan.
“Oh my God, Emily. This is delicious. What is this?”
“It's called Paella. It's an original Spanish recipe. My mother's cook taught me when we were in Barcelona.”
JJ almost choked on the food she had just put into her mouth, because she started laughing at that.
“You sure learned quite a lot of useful stuff from your mother's staff.”
“I did, didn't I?” Emily grinned.
The rest of the meal was spent with light conversation. Emily, letting her walls down, told JJ some stories of the foreign countries she had been and JJ in return told her about her family and her childhood in East Allegheny.
There was an awkward moment when they were finished eating. Both knew how they wanted this evening to end, but neither was sure how to proceed without overstepping any boundaries.
Finally it was Emily who took the lead again, extending her hand to JJ, who took it without hesitation and stood. Soon the distance between them was closed and they were drawn into a hot, consuming kiss.
Without breaking the kiss, Emily managed to get them into her bedroom, where they finally broke for air. Emily took a half step back searching for any sign of doubt in JJ's eyes, but JJ had no doubts. She wanted this as much as Emily did. To prove it, she started to slowly unbutton her blouse. Emily's eyes followed her every move. Soon enough, Emily started following her lead, unbuttoning her own blouse as well.
Blouses and bras were discarded without a word, both women simply taking in the beauty of the other. But when JJ started to unbutton her pants, Emily stopped her.
“I think I promised that I would do that. Step out of your shoes.”
JJ did and at once she was considerably shorter than the brunette was, since Emily still wore heels. Emily closed the short distance between them and captured JJ's lips in another searing kiss, their breasts touching, their bodies molding together in every place possible. Emily used her advantage in height to press her thigh between JJ's legs and up into her crotch, making JJ moan deeply and press into her harder.
“Yes, that's it baby, let go.” Emily whispered, supporting JJ's back, letting her find her own rhythm. JJ's moans got louder and her head fell back while her thrusts got more frantic. But before she got too close, Emily took a half-step backwards.
JJ was about to protest when she felt Emily's hands on her abdomen wandering south. It was like the touch of a feather and the blonde felt her muscles twitch under her lover's fingertips. She heard the pop of a button, then a zipper going down, without Emily's hands leaving her abdomen, drifting in circles, caressing her sides, her ribs, her belly button. JJ's breath hitched when she felt Emily's breath, panting heavily too, closing in on her center. Eager for more contact JJ pushed her pants and panties down to the floor herself.
Emily moaned at the sight before her. JJ's blonde hair cropped short and now dark from the wetness that was already starting to drip down her legs.
“My God, JJ. Look at you, all wet and ready for me.” Emily's voice was husky and JJ more felt than heard the words. “I really need to taste you.”
“Oh God. Yes please.”
JJ was more than ready for this. She had been ready since she stepped through Emily's door earlier. Hell, she had been ready since they had kissed in that damn cage. She felt ready to explode. Emily was already kneeling in front of her and all she could do to keep herself from falling down was hold on to the brunette's shoulders. She felt fingers spread her, and Emily's tongue took a long sweep through her wetness.
When Emily hit her clit with her tongue and started to hum in approval, JJ couldn't hold back a scream any longer.
“Emily! Please. I need you inside of me. Now!”
Emily was more than ready to oblige. She put one of JJ's legs over her shoulder to get better access and, holding JJ steady around the waist, she easily entered the blonde with two fingers. She started a steady rhythm, each thrust met by JJ who tried to drive her deeper.
JJ's movements sped up in her need to find release. Emily added a third finger and started licking and sucking at JJ's clit at the same time. She felt the blonde's leg starting to tremble and her walls clamp down on the fingers. She sucked the clit again, a little harder this time and pushed her finger as deep into her lover as they would go and with a raw scream JJ went rigid, the waves of her orgasm sweeping over her. All Emily could do was hold her steady so she wouldn't fall.
As JJ went limp, Emily gathered her up and gently laid her down on the bed, so she could regain her senses. She stepped out of her own shoes and laid down beside her, propped up on one elbow so she could look at JJ's relaxed face undisturbed.
After a while the blonde's breathing evened out again and she opened her blue eyes to look at Emily lovingly. But soon the look in JJ's eyes changed into something feral, sending shivers down Emily's spine and right into her core, making her moan out loud.
In one single fluid motion, JJ was upon Emily, pinning her, pressing one thigh into her center and nibbling playfully at her pulse point.
“Wow Emily, that was truly amazing. Now where did you learn that?”
Emily shuddered, having trouble concentrating on JJ's words, while JJ let go of her hands and started to unbutton her pants. Just before Emily lost all power of speech, she managed to answer.
“Oh you know JJ... that will be my secret.”