"It has nothing to do with this, okay? I'm just dealing with things at home," Hotch said as he and Callahan exited the car.
"All right, I'll drop it," she replied. "So this is where Phoebe goes every Sunday? Looks kind of dingy. Just, from the person Phoebe seemed to have been, it doesn't look like her speed."
Hotch shrugged. "This is the address Garcia sent," he said with a tight-lipped smile. "Let's go."
The bell above the door dinged as they walked into the small bakery, titled Rollo de Canela.
A short Hispanic man stood behind the counter, his name tag reading Herman. "Good morning, how can I help you?" He asked cheerily, obviously excited by the sight of customers.
Kate felt a pinch of guilt that they wouldn't be buying anything.
"We're Federal Agents Hotchner and Callahan. May we ask you a few questions?" Kate almost didn't flash her badge in time, Hotch was going so fast. She'd have to work at getting synced with him.
"Of course," Herman replied, his eyes widening.
Hotch held up his tablet. "Do you know this woman?"
"Oh, si," Herman replied, much relieved. "Phoebe. She comes in every Sunday."
"At the same time every week?" Kate asked.
"No," Herman replied, surprising them. "It always changes. Sometimes very early in the morning, or sometimes almost lunch or sometimes in the middle of the morning, and once even the late afternoon." He shrugged. "But every Sunday, she comes in and orders a cinnamon roll."
"Has anyone ever come with her? Or is there someone who comes in at the same time?" Hotch asked, brows drawing closer together.
Herman considered. "I mean, I'm not sure. I guess, occasionally, she comes in a group, like just after church, but her times are so irreg—" He paused. "You know, there is someone. Not every time, but he's there."
"Could you describe him?" Hotch asked, leaning on the counter. "Did he use a credit card? And when was the last time you saw him? Did you catch him on tape?"
"Maybe?" Herman said uncertainly, obviously confused by the rapid fire questions. "I'm not good with faces, he always used cash but I can give you my security tape footage for her Sundays."
"Thanks so much," Hotch said and they waited for Herman to return in silence.
Kate let her gaze wander. It was a little place, but he had an abundance of baked goods and a sign that boasted he had the 'best cinnamon rolls in the city.' But if you looked closely, as Kate was, you could tell the business was struggling. All the price signs were handwritten, the tables were old and the walls hadn't been painted in quite some time.
But it was clean. He took good care of his bakery. Kate was impressed.
"I have them!" Herman exclaimed some time later, carrying a box with an abundance of tapes in it. "These are all the Sundays for the last year." A big smile was on his face, which faltered when he saw they hadn't ordered anything.
Hotch took the proffered tapes and handed Herman his card. "If you think of anything else, call me. Let's go," he told Kate.
"I have coffee," Herman said. "And strudels and muffins, all of them are very good."
Hotch didn't even slow, but Kate turned around. "Are the cinnamon rolls hot?"
"Of course!" Herman exclaimed. "They are fresh out of my oven!"
Kate considered, then tipped her head and a smile came to her face. "I'll take two."
Hotch was waiting next to the SUV when Kate came hurrying out, carrying the cinnamon rolls. He raised an eyebrow.
"I couldn't help it, he was so disappointed we hadn't bought anything."
"Did you really need two?" Hotch asked, opening his door.
"Cool your jets," she said, and he shut his door with a bit of a bang. "One is for you," she explained, trying to hand it to him but he pulled away. "Oh, come on. Either we can go back to the station and both of us will be irritated or we can take a walk through that park over there, eat these and when we get back to the station, you won't be as stressed and I won't be mad at you for refusing my offering. Taking it?"
He took it.
A/N: This was my try at writing Kate. Ooh, I adored her. She's so perfect for the show.
I intend this to be the first in a series of stories for Kate throughout the year.
On further review, this is the first Criminal Minds story featuring Kate.(Character Filter-wise.) Yes! I was hoping that it would be!