Disclaimer: Not mine. Just playin' with them!
(Author's Notes: I was actually quite overwhelmed by the response to the first chapter so before I do individual shout outs, I just wanted to give y'all one bit THANK YOU!! It's y'all that inspire me to keep writing! –HUGS FOR EVERYONE–)
Television-Fanatic – THANKS!
Angelus-Summers – MUAHAHA! You'll just have to keep reading to find out what happens to her! I promise it won't be disappointing!
wavscaper – Well, thank you! –giggles– Thanks for being such a loyal reader of my fics!
SSA JoJo – Oh, wow! Well, I'm so glad you signed up and that you're lovin' the story! And yes, the beginning was a bit naughty, wasn't it? HEHE! Reeled you in though, didn't it? WOO!
AscaDuin – JJ is my favorite character as well! (Obviously, hehe) Oh, and don't worry about it being a JJ/Reid fic. I tend to like to keep my fics as canon as possible, so there won't be anything in this that wouldn't happen on the show. Anyway, thanks for the review and here's…the continuation to the journey!
Linda66 – JJCentric is what I do! Hehehe! And yes, there isn't a ton of JJ in this chapter either, but don't worry, it's coming and it'll be worth it! Also, fear not, Crash and Burn is still in motion! I'm just a fic hopper. I write for one and then jump to the next and so on.
butterfly-92 – Thank you! I'm quite keen on my beginning as well, LOL! It was rather evil of me, but the wait to get back to that point will be worth it!
Vince – Not ALWAYS working…It just works better at night. HEHE. And shhh, no spoiling!
egoofy34 – Thanks for the review! Here's your update!
Jamie – What happened to Jamily? HEHE You flatter me too much, my dear, you and your hair. –shakes fist– :-P hehehe FLOVE YOU, TOO!
I heart TV 'tv-luvin-hottie' – That's some penname! LOL! I'm glad you're lovin' it! I'm with Morgan, too! I love the snow, but after a while, the cold really begins to suck!
innocentchoirgirl – HEHE Fanks, my Fishy! MUAHAHAHA! I've gotten you into another fandom. I'm so wicked! LOVE YA!
naquada – YAY! Glad you enjoyed it! Here's your update!
Princess Shlay – HEHE Yeah, I thought a little peek into the future would be engaging for the readers. I guess I was right! Just wait 'til I get to that point in the story! It'll be even better!
Evan Lorne – Don't worry! There'll be more Hotch soon enough!
Roma81 – Wow, me? The go-to for JJ fics? YAAAAAAAY!!! That was totally my goal all along. –nods vigorously– LOL!! Don't worry! I'm still working on the others too! As I told Linda66, I'm a fic hopper. I just jump from one to the next and so on! HEHE There will be more of all of them very soon!
sydcasy – Always gotta aim for a great start to capture the reader's attention, isn't that what they teach you in school? LOL! –hugs– Thanks for the review!
"Mister Tiller?" Morgan questioned as he approached the hunter. He flashed his credentials. "I'm Agent Morgan with the FBI. Mind if I ask you a few questions?"
The man scratched his chin, his unshaven face itching in the cold. "I already told Officer Whatever-His-Name-Is everything I know," the man replied irritably. "All I did was trip over the body when I was tracking a buck. I didn't even see her until then. That's it."
"You didn't notice all that blood?" Morgan asked skeptically. "I mean, it is everywhere."
Tiller clenched his jaw, obviously agitated. "I winged the buck I was tracking. I thought it was his blood."
Morgan resisted the urge to roll his eyes. He crossed his arms instead. "Oh, come on, man. You can't honestly want me to believe that you thought all that blood was from a winged deer." He glanced over at the weapon the police officer had confiscated from the hunter. Moving over to it, Morgan picked up the rifle and examined it. "And isn't this a little overkill for a deer?"
Jesse Tiller was beginning to fidget now, an obvious sign that Morgan was on to something.
"Hell, this is a bit of overkill even for a black bear. Isn't the general huntin' rule of thumb somethin' about keeping it in the thirty-caliber range for black bears? It's not the caliber but placement of the shot?" Morgan paused and then turned back to Tiller, cocking his head to the side ever so slightly. "Unless you weren't huntin' deer…or black bears."
"I didn't kill that girl!" Tiller exclaimed.
"No, you were just killin' somethin' else that you shouldn't have been killin'."
"N-no I wasn't!"
Morgan smiled slyly and got closer to the man, right up into his personal space. "So, you're tellin' me if we go to your cabin, we aren't gonna find say…somethin' like a dead Grizzly? That is a protected species, you know."
Tiller swallowed thickly. "No, of course not. Hunting Grizzlies is illegal and I haven't done anything illegal."
"Well actually," Morgan began as he pulled back, "that rifle of yours? You need a special permit for that, a very special permit that civilians can't generally get. Would you happen to have that permit?"
The hunter didn't say a word.
"That's what I thought. Now, which would you rather be penalized for? Killing an endangered species that could get you a year in jail or carrying an unregistered, civilian-unattainable firearm that'll could get you a dime?"
"Christ! Come on, man!"
"All I'm askin' for is the truth, Mister Tiller."
Pulling his hat off of his head, Tiller scratched his head agitatedly. "It wasn't a deer. It was a Grizzly. I shot it and it took off, and I tripped over her when I was chasing it," he confessed. "But I called the cops when I found her. I did the right thing!"
Shaking his head, Morgan motioned for the officer standing by to take Tiller.
"It was just a fuckin' bear! Give me a break!" Jesse yelled as he was led away.
Morgan headed back over to Hotch, Prentiss, and the two detectives. He shook his head before anyone could ask if thought it was their guy or not.
Henderson nodded. "I still want his cabin checked out to be sure," he said. It was just a precaution, but a necessary one. Tiller might not have been their man, but that didn't mean he couldn't be in on it.
By the time Hotch, Morgan, and Prentiss arrived back at the station, JJ and Reid had already been given the crime scene photos. They had put them up on the board with the others, the label only saying "Victim 8" as they didn't know who she was yet.
JJ stood in front of the board, adopting Reid's earlier position, as she stared at the new photos. They were gruesome to say the least.
"Yeah, Doll Face, they're on their way right now," Morgan was saying into the phone, obviously talking to Garcia. "Run the pictures through the–"
'Facial recognition software, I know,' she interrupted, 'This isn't my first dance with the dark side, Sugar.'
Morgan smirked ever so slightly before his expression grew somber again. "I know, I know. I just…really want to get this bastard."
'I know that, too. I can feel you brooding through the phone. Now, you go back to doing your thing, and I'll do mine, and I'll call you back as soon as I have anything.'
Rubbing his forehead, Morgan walked over to the board and stood next to JJ. "Alright, Baby Girl, thanks."
'Anything for you, my gorgeous man.'
Closing his phone, Morgan clipped it to his belt and then returned his attention to the board. "Garcia couldn't find anything in common with the victims besides their appearance, age, and location," he told everyone, turning half way so he could face them and the board at the same time. "They're all over the spectrum as far as social status goes."
It was a pretty simple victimology, but a scary one at that. It meant that any woman in their mid-twenties with blonde hair and blue eyes could be a target. And with the unsub's rapid escalation…Well, that did not bode well for the community at all.
"All the bodies are dumped in fairly secluded areas," Reid pointed out, "But at the same time, they're areas where they'll eventually be discovered."
"Speaks to the unsub's desire not to be caught, but also his desire for his victims to be found," Hotch added in his very clinical sort of way. "He wants his work to be noticed."
Morgan wandered away from the board to pour himself a cup of coffee while he thought over everything. He was still freezing from being out in the snow.
Emily took his spot beside JJ and studied the new photos. There was a stretch of silence before the brunette pointed to one, a close-up of the victim's face, and said, "Do you see what I see?"
JJ stared for a moment and then with a very pronounced frown, nodded. "Yeah."
All three men looked at the pair.
"What?" Morgan asked.
JJ pulled the picture off of the board and moved over to the table, Emily following. She placed it down so everyone could huddle around to see what she was pointing at. "There," JJ said, "see that?" There were murmurs of affirmation and nods from the others. "Her hair was dyed."
Morgan frowned. "Dyed as in…went to the salon?"
Both JJ and Emily shook their heads.
"No," Emily replied, "as in had her hair dyed out of a box."
"Are you thinking that the unsub dyed this victim's hair to match the others?" Reid asked, disturbed the thought.
Morgan was quick to add, "Are we sure she didn't dye it herself?"
Both women gave the man a look. "Hate to break it to you, Morgan, but women are very conscientious about their hair. There is no way this woman would do a box job this bad and leave dye on her forehead," Emily stated. She hadn't noticed the hair until now because of all the snow at the crime scene and because of the fact that she hadn't gotten that close to the body.
"This was done by someone who didn't know what they were doing," JJ added. "Or was in a rush."
"Or was doing it to someone who may have been struggling," Hotch said grimly, crossing his arms. He didn't like this at all.
The heavy moment was suddenly broken by Brentwood walking into the room with a file in his hand. "We just got some results back from both the morgue and the lab. Apparently this woman had her hair–"
"Dyed," Emily and JJ said simultaneously.
The man blinked. "Wow, you guys are good." He walked over and handed Hotch the folder. "Yeah, apparently our victim was previously a brunette who had had a really bad dye job done a few hours prior to her death. The lab tech said the dye had hardly even settled before our victim was killed and dumped."
"Could it be a copycat?" Emily questioned, leaning against the conference table.
JJ shook her head. "Specifics haven't been given to the media. All the public knows is that there have been a series of murders in the area."
Brentwood nodded in agreement. "We were sure not to give the media too much for fear of panic."
"Good thinking," Hotch said with a nod of approval. He paused, glancing at the down at the file in his hand. He flipped through it to the coroner's report, reading it quickly before speaking again. "The coroner couldn't get an exact time of death because the body was in the snow, but rigor mortis confirms that she was killed roughly within three hours of her being found."
Morgan rubbed the back of his neck, clenching his jaw tightly for a few seconds. "That makes it what? Nine days between murders now?" It was more of a statement than a question. "This bastard is getting worse by each passing second. If he continues the way he is now, we're gonna be seeing a lot more bodies in a very short amount of time."
"And now they don't have to be naturally blonde," JJ bleakly pointed out. "He can do that himself."
TO BE CONTINUED…
(A/N: Yes, I know this chapter was lacking JJness in this supposedly JJCentric fic, but I'm getting to it! Fear not! You know what to do! CLICKY CLICKY! LOVES TO ALL!)