A/N: I got this one up much sooner than I expected. Hopefully it will tie you over until the next one. Once again I would like to thank those who reviewed Lenika08 and PrentissisBoss. And a big thank you to lovelover7891, who has reviewed a lot of the chapters, this one is for you!
Thursday, April 12th – 5:55 a.m.
Derek and Emily awoke early than normal, so that Derek would have a chance to return to his room without being caught. Before he left, Derek turned to face Emily, "I think we should do this again sometimes."
"Why not, my schedule looks free," she replied with a flirtatious smirk.
Next thing Emily knew, Derek was leaned in, and he pressed a light kiss to her lips, one that neither was expecting. Before she knew it he was gone, and it was time to get ready for the day.
She could hardly focus on getting changed because her lips continued to tingle where his had met hers for that brief second.
The team sat around the table at the precinct. They were waiting for Liam Duncan's ex-wife to arrive; otherwise they had no other leads to exercise. They knew he was the Unsub, but they needed some more information for a warrant or to catch him in the act.
Sheriff Boyd entered the room, walked over to Prentiss' chair and put his hands on her shoulders, "We've discovered another body."
"Shit!" exclaimed Morgan. Angry that they were still behind this guy even though they knew who is.
"This soon?" Questioned Reid. This obviously meant the Unsub was escalating, with 4 victims this year. "That's strange. I wonder what has made this year such a crucial year. He went from 2 victims to 4 and one of those was a woman. This means that if he continues at this rate we could possible expect 8 bodies next year, two of which would be adult females. That would only occur if he was not apprehended this year, so…" Reid continued to ramble.
Sheriff Boyd interrupted him, "Yeah, well the victim is another child, a girl around 3 years old."
"It seems that the children are close in age to his daughter, when she left," Prentiss spoke up. For her contributing efforts Sheriff Boyd began to rub circles over her arms. Morgan tensed, Prentiss' eyes widened and the rest of the team scowled at the man.
"Other than the first victim, the infant, they were all his daughter's age," JJ spoke up.
"We agree on that," Hotch started, "Reid, Rossi and I, will check in at the crime scene. Prentiss and Morgan stay here to interview the mother, JJ interview the child if possible. Sheriff Boyd, will you accompany us to the crime scene?"
"I think I will be better off here at the station," stated.
Not wanting to contradict the local PD or upset the sheriff, Hotch merely nodded in reply and the team split up.
Reid, Rossi, and Hotch all were at the precinct looking around at the crime scene, hoping to find anything that could possibly lead them to Liam Duncan.
The toddler's body was found sprawled over the ground much like the other victims; this had to be the same guy. The little girl was dirty and clothes were ripped and tattered. She was missing he left shoe, a purple and silver Barbie sneaker that her mother had probably talked the Unsub into buying.
The Agents continued to survey the scene, they would look around for an hour or so more and then make the long drive back to the precinct.
Sheriff Boyd had followed Prentiss around all day, at least until she managed to send him on a false lead that forced him to look through every case file.
Liam Duncan's ex-wife entered the precinct. She calmly approached the BAU agents, with a girl about 10 years old following behind her.
Without any introductions, she asked, "What do you need to know about Liam?"
"Hello, Ms…?" Morgan began.
"Charles," the woman who matched the appearance of the missing woman, with caramel hair and a fair complexion replied, "I went back to maiden name after the divorce."
"Ms. Charles, I am Agent Prentiss," Emily greeted, "could you possible come with Agent Morgan and myself for a little questioning about your ex-husband?"
She nodded, "Of course, where can Katie stay for the time being?"
"I will watch her ma'am," JJ stepped up, "We will just get some hot chocolate from the break room, if that's all right?"
Ms. Charles nodded in return before she followed Morgan and Prentiss.
"Hi Katie, I'm JJ," she smiled at the girl.
"Hi," came an unenthusiastic reply.
JJ walked Katie into the break room, sat her down in a chair and got her some hot chocolate.
Before JJ had a chance to ask the girl anything, Katie spoke up, "Are we here because of my Dad?"
"Well we don't know yet for sure," JJ replied, "What can you tell me about him?"
"Mommy says that he was mean, that's why we had to leave," JJ nodded for Katie to continue, "I don't really remember him very well though."
"That's okay, anything else?"
"No," Katie sighed.
"That's aright, sweetie," JJ could obviously see that the young girl was distressed, so decided change the topic, "So what have you been up to lately?"
Katie smiled, "It was Mommy's birthday on April 10th! We had a party!"
JJ's eyes widened, she called over a female officer to watch Katie and headed to the interview room where Morgan and Prentiss had escorted Ms. Charles to.
JJ knocked on the door and Morgan opened it, she heard Ms. Charles discussing her years of marriage. It sounded awful, full of abuse.
Ms. Charles was just finishing up saying," I had to leave to protect Katie. Since I left him, Liam hated Katie, he blames her. And then once the divorce was finalized he severed all contact with the both of us."
"Morgan, her birthday is April 10th, that's the stressor," JJ whispered, with that she returned to Katie.
"Ms. Charles, when did you leave him? Prentiss asked.
"I think we split in July but the divorce was finalized at the end of December, six years ago."
"That fits with the abduction timeline," Morgan stated to Prentiss, "When is your birthday?" He asked the ex-wife.
"Umm, April 10th," Ms. Charles was wary to answer the strange questions.
"That's the anniversary," Prentiss realized.
"JJ just found that out," Morgan credited the blonde profiler.
"One last question, have you had any contact with him?"
"No, not since the divorce, but just this year Katie started to send him letters."
"Thank you Ms. Charles, you have greatly helped our investigation," Prentiss thanked the woman. "You and your daughter are free to go."
Morgan and Prentiss both knew that Katie sending letters to the Unsub had been the trigger to escalation. This caused the increase in victims.
"Will you let us know either way if it was Liam?" She asked.
Morgan replied, "We will."
Once again the team met up. They all relayed their information in. JJ told them of the importance of April 10th and Reid gave an exact description of the crime scene to the agents who were not present.
"I think I have enough to hopefully get a warrant from the judge," Hotch stated, "But no one will be willing to put this one through fast. We will probably have to wait until tomorrow for it to be finalized."
"Hotch, seriously!" Morgan complained.
"I know," he sighed.
"Can we head over to his house to ask him some question?" Prentiss asked hopefully.
"Tomorrow we will, if the warrant isn't ready by 8."
The team began to pack up; they would eat and get to bed early so they could start the take down of Liam Duncan early tomorrow morning. Since there was nothing more that could be done tonight, legally that is.
Just as Emily rose out of her char, Sheriff Boyd approached her. The team all stopped their actions to see what was about to transpire.
"Excuse me Agent Emily?"
"Yes Sheriff, how can I help you?"
"I was wondering if you would join me for dinner…"
Emily didn't know what to say, it was not what she was expecting, "Thank you for the offer, but" She could not think of an excuse that would lead him away from her.
Hotch nudged Derek, and whispered, "I know you want to step in, I will look the other way for now. You two sort out your relationship, keep it away from the office and I will not say another word."
Hotch left, followed by a smirking JJ who was dragging a confused Spencer. That left Sherriff Boyd, who was still awaiting an answer, Emily, Derek and Dave in the room.
"Actually Sheriff, Emily has already promised me dinner tonight," Derek finally spoke up.
"Oh," The sheriff was obviously deflated, "What about tomorrow?"
"What I mean is that Emily and I have dinner plans set for the at least the next 30, maybe 40 years. Depending on how it all works out."
The sheriff finally caught on, nodded his head and left the room. He knew that he had been beaten.
"Derek! I'm a big girl I can handle myself," Emily joked, but her headstrong personality still came through because she believed she could handle her own problems. Although it was nice to have someone stand up for her, "And you could have been nicer about it."
"So what I'm a little territorial?"
"A little?" Dave snorted. The pair turned to look at Dave who was still in the room, playing witness to the day's events.
Emily turned red; embarrassed that Dave had caught them again. Now the whole team would learn of this little conflict.
"Hotch know too," Derek whispered to Emily. Great, just what she needed, JJ knew, Hotch knew and Dave most definitely knew. Garcia had a vague idea and Reid, he was just Reid.
Dave exited the room under their glare. This left Derek and Emily alone, finally!
"So you really mean it? I'm stuck with you?"
Derek suddenly became self conscious, "Only if you want..."
"Of course I do!" She replied as she began to leave the room, "You coming? I believe you owe me dinner."
A/N: Only two more parts to go! Almost there, and as always reviews are welcome :)