Friday Afternoon -
It had taken two more days before the team broke the case, thanks to Penelope who had found a link between the victims and uncovered the team of unsubs who had kidnapped, tortured, and castrated the victims then dumping the bodies, and leaving playing cards on the foreheads of each man to let the men know that they had messed with the wrong queens.
Leslie Aronson, Chelsea Baker, Porsche Walker, and Josey Alfonso were all strippers working at an upscale gentleman’s club downtown. Each woman had met the victims while working and had started relationships with them. After sharing stories of how they were promised a way out of their livelihood, and then dumped, the four planned the murders and devised a way to kill and dump the bodies in separate parts of the city so as to appear as random murders. Penelope was able to find a sister of one of the victims who had found out about her brother’s affair with a stripper and after several searches, the unsubs’ names began to link together, and their friendships were discovered.
Now as the team finished their paperwork and said goodbye to the local detectives, everyone was looking forward to going home and spending the weekend with their families. Hotch called ahead to his sister-in-law and spoke to Jack, and they made plans to go fishing. JJ talked Reid into going with her and her family to visit her mother. Dave had already called Fran and asked that she make plans to go to their cabin and Morgan, well Morgan was going home and if all went well, he would be spending his weekend with Penelope.
Penelope fished her phone from her bag as it rang for the second time. She’d managed to keep herself busy most of the week, but Sam was persistent. She knew it wasn’t fair to continue ignoring him, so before answering, Penelope exhaled.
“Hello, Sam... listen...”
“Hey darling, you are a hard woman to pin down.”
“I’m sorry, this case has been a bear. Just when I think we’ve seen the worse, another case comes up to prove me wrong.”
“I told you before that you work too hard. I hope your team appreciates you.”
“They more than appreciate me.”
“How about dinner if you’re not too tired that is.”
“I’m sorry, Sam but the team is on the way back and I have to be here when they get back.”
“You have to be, or you want to be?”
“I’m sorry, Penelope, it’s just that I miss you. Things are going so good between us, and this week has me...”
“Sam, I care about you, you know that, but I think we need to talk and not on the phone.”
“Now I’m really worried.”
“I’ll call you tomorrow, okay?”
Sam listened as the call was ended; the dull hum of the disconnection seemed to add the period to an affair quickly coming to an end. He knew what she wanted to talk about, it didn’t take a genius to figure out that Penelope’s heart was not with him. He’d been foolish to buy the ring as if it would make her love him. He was a fool and he felt broken...his plans for Valentine’s Day were certain to never become reality.
“I can’t lose you, Penelope...not again and not to him.”
Home of Savannah Hayes – Evening –
Savannah had wasted a lot of time hoping and waiting for Derek to change his mind about them. She was tired of waiting, tired of making a fool of herself and tired of the insecure, clingy shell of herself that she had become. Her heart ached but she had to move forward; she would move forward. Wanting someone who didn’t want her back wasn’t healthy, she knew better...she was better. Now if only she could make her heart believe that. She was ashamed of what she had done in her marriage, her affair and having a baby from that affair and trying to pass it off as her husband’s child. She was sorry and she wanted only one thing from Derek and that was his forgiveness.
Savannah picked up her cell phone and dialed a familiar number. She knew he wouldn’t answer, and she was prepared to leave a voice message.
Derek saw her name flash across his screen as he boarded the jet. He wasn’t in the mood for another argument, or another plea for a second chance. Maybe if he took the call, he’d be able to finally convince her that they were finished.
“Hi Derek. I’m sorry to bother you.”
“What is it, is the baby okay?”
She smiled sadly at the question.
“Yes, DJ is fine. That’s not why I’m calling.”
“I was hoping that if you had a few minutes this weekend, we could talk.”
“Savannah, please we’ve gone through this already...”
“...No, no, please, I know we’re done. I just need to say something to you. No tricks, no begging for another chance. I know, I know we don’t belong together and I’m sorry.”
Derek closed his eyes and exhaled. He could hear the resignation in her voice and believed her for the first time in a long time. He’d hurt her and what he had done, his lies, his insistence on being in her life, had led her to doing the things she had done.
“Okay, I’ll come by in the morning if that’s okay.”
“Yes, yes that’s fine. Thank you, Derek and I promise, I won’t bother you again.”
“I’ll see you in the morning.”
Della pulled the syringe and the vial from her pocket. She had managed to slip them from Savannah’s medical bag earlier. She wasn’t a doctor but her short time in nursing school had given her enough knowledge of what she needed to render her captive unconscious. Now all she had to do was wait for her chance; she was used to waiting, she was good at it.
“All good things come to those who wait,” she whispered as she drove away from Derek’s home.
BAU Headquarters – Evening –
Penelope stood in front of the elevators, her heart pounding in her chest. This was her normal routine as she eagerly greeted her teammates and friends as they stepped off the elevator. This time was different, this time held so much promise for her and this time she wasn’t going to let fear and inconvenience stop her from what she wanted and needed to do.
Even though she knew they were on the way up, she jumped at the sound of the elevator’s ping. One by one she greeted them, pulling them into warm hugs, including Hotch who very seldom allowed such public displays of affection. As usual, Derek was the last to step off and while the others proceeded to their offices, pretending not to see, not to notice, Penelope approached him and he her. He was exhausted and she could see the fatigue written all over him, but it didn’t matter.
Derek couldn’t get off the elevator fast enough. Bone tired, yet he had enough strength to pull her into his arms and hold her against his body for what felt like eternity. He was certain in that moment that God had made her to fit in that spot and in his life. As she wrapped her arms around him, he knew that she agreed.
“Mmm...,” he moaned.
“Not too tired for this.”
“Well, there’s more where this comes from.”
“So, do you have plans for the weekend, Baby Girl.”
“Not really, you have something in mind?”
“I have a lot in mind, sweetness,” He purred in her ear.
“GET A ROOM!”
The two pulled apart at the sound of the chorus from above them. Derek and Penelope chuckled shooting glances at their friends as they too headed to their offices.
“To be continued,” he promised as he followed close behind her.
About the Creator
I adore words and I love what happens when we grab them, sleep with them, holler and scream and laugh at them! I love what happens when we throw them in the air and watch them fall magically from our minds onto paper!