Author's Note:

HORROR STORY! – CHARACTER DEATHS! – READ THE BIG HONKING WARNING!

This is an ugly, twisted, terrible tale and you really shouldn't be reading it. It's M rated up front for violence, CHARACTER DEATHS, and language. It's (some of you will be excited here) the sequel to The Snake Pit. Not the one I was planning on writing though. If you'll recall there were two epilogues, one that ended ambiguously (A), and one that ended horrifically (B). I set up A specifically for a sequel but ironically, this is a continuation of B. So that tone, that no rules approach that anything can happen to anyone, that's what's in here.

As I said when I put up Snake Pit, if you like the relationship stories I write, this is not necessarily for you. Though it is established H/P, this is a capital "D" Dark, no humor, no fluff tale. The epilogue below will set the tone for the rest, if you don't like it, if it turns your stomach, walk away now! It's just going to get worse.

This is a horror movie. The only people that I can PROMISE that will be alive at the end are H/P and their offspring (Jack will always be off limits). Anyone else on the team, and anyone else's FAMILY (that is key!), is fair game.

Warning Over - now to the plot of the story:

This picks up approximately a year after the end of The Snake Pit, Epilogue B. Hotch and Emily have been in seclusion overseas living at the embassy in Berlin with her parents. They have Jack with them and they now have a new baby. Lucy. I thought Lucy in A Love Story in Three Acts turned out really sweet so I stole her for this world too. The reason I thought to grab her, and the reason I'm laying out more of the plot now than normally I would do, is because this is like that world, ALL first person POV. So though all the pieces will fall together as the chapters roll along, I thought the basics would help up front.

More at the end.

This epilogue is Emily. Then we'll flash back about a week to the start of events that brought her to where she is now.


Bonus Challenge # 5

Show: Family Law

Title Challenge: Four Drops of Blood


Emily's POV

Prologue

Four drops of blood.

Four drops of blood. That's all I can see from my position on the floor.

But there's more . . . my stomach dips as my eyes fill . . . so much more. I know this because I heard the screams.

And the power saw.

It was Dave.

The grief wells up . . . our best friend. His unwavering loyalty to us is why he suffered so much more than the others. One by one he had to find their bodies.

And then he had to watch his own be cut into pieces.

Next to my husband . . . next to my Aaron . . . Dave was the strongest man I knew.

But no more.

We all have our limits. We all break eventually. I wonder what my limit will be. When will I begin to scream and simply be unable to stop? When will I beg for someone to kill me?

These aren't questions that you should have to ask yourself. But I need to prepare. I need to prepare because I know that I'll be next.

The man . . . I shake my head in disgust . . . not a man . . . the clown. That fucking clown, he'll be back. He promised. And that fucker does keep his promises.

He promised Aaron he'd make him suffer for ruining his fun.

And he did.

He promised that he would take me from him.

And he did.

The only promise he didn't keep . . . the only comfort I have left in the world . . . is that he didn't get Jack first. Or his baby sister.

I know that our children are safe.

My heart twists in pain . . . I miss them so much! And my breasts ache with milk. I'd just begun to wean Lucy off so I could go back to work. And now I fear that I'll never see my baby again. My heart breaks with the knowledge that she won't remember me . . . the tears begin to run down my face again . . . us. She won't remember us.

Aaron will be the last to die.

And my baby will never how much her daddy loved her. She'll never know that her birth was what pulled him out of his spiraling guilt and depression over the horrible death of his ex-wife.

When I was terrified that Aaron was slipping beyond my grasp . . . that he would never smile again . . . suddenly he came back to me. And that was our Lucy.

That was her birth.

She and Jack are all that we live for now. All that we have left.

I've thanked God every moment since my capture that my children are still with my parents inside the embassy. There are almost 5000 miles separating us from Berlin. There are razor wires lining the fences. There are Marines at the gates.

And my father is there.

A man who hunted terrorists for thirty years has taken an indefinite leave to stay with my babies. So I know without a doubt that my children are safe.

My children will live.

Even if we don't.

A sob breaks free . . . I don't want to die! I'm terrified and I want my husband! I want my husband to save me. Yet I want him nowhere near where I am.

I know that my time is short. I haven't been butchered yet, but I know that it will begin soon.

Where's the fun in keeping me alive any longer if I'm not trapped, screaming in my own hell? And I don't want my last moments of anguish and terror to be filled with the knowledge that Aaron is here too. That he will see my agony and be unable to save me.

Then the clown will win.

We should have stayed away. We never should have come home. It was already too late. They were already dead.

All dead except for . . . OH GOD!

THE DOOR'S OPENING!

A figure appears out of the darkness and my eyes widen in horror . . . NO, NO, NO!

I begin to scream.


A/N 2: So yeah, that pretty much sets the tone for the rest. Like I said, it's an ugly story. It's not for everyone's taste. It's just going to get worse from here folks so if you don't like it so far please back out now.

I'll tell you, though there is a high body count, and lots of bad things are in store, not EVERYONE is dead. But I wanted to be clear by the "apparent" death of Dave (nothing's definite until you see a body) that nobody's safe. I think I've made it clear many times that he's my fave next to H/P so if I'm willing to off Dave that gruesomely then we're definitely going down the rabbit hole to hell.

I said I wanted to try writing a horror story first person, and as I started to write the opening of "Four Drops" I realized this idea totally lent itself to that format. So each chapter will be told from a different character's POV. The entire cast is included (it was a good way to get them all into it). In some instances you'll be following along with that character in his (her) head in the last moments of his (her) life. If I do it correctly (fingers crossed) then it should be creepy and upsetting. I already have the first six chapters mostly written. I'm hoping to crank out another tomorrow on the commute (1st person is a MUCH faster write) and get them to second drafts this weekend. I was adamant about not posting anything until the story was clearly pulled together on my end. I'm juggling too many things to start throwing something new up if I couldn't guarantee that I'd be able to wrap this by Halloween. But we're in really good shape :) And I promise I'll continue to be posting on other stuff as well. This commute writing's really been a lifesaver!

The cool thing about the 1st person POV is that there's no omniscience. You only know, you only see, what that person sees. So sometimes things aren't as they appear. Or sometimes a chapter will end ambiguously. The next character will pull the thread forward and you'll find out what happened. That's why I said, until you "see" a body for someone, you'll never know what happened to that person.

What's weird, and disturbing, is that, as awful as this story is, given what we've seen so far this season. I no longer see it as terribly farfetched. That's why I felt okay going forward with it. Like if Foyette wasn't just a sick fuck and was literally like the devil himself, I don't think it would be an incredible stretch to say that a lot of the stuff that happens here couldn't happen in canon. You know, theoretically, if they were married and this was a show on HBO rather than network television.

I'm trying to use all the Halloween prompts in this story. And Derek's will be chapter 1, picking up about 4 or 5 days before this opening. Morgan's car breaks down in the middle of the night. This chapter is done and I'm planning on posting it Monday. Feedback might get it up a day earlier though :)

Next: "Something's Coming" (Derek's POV: Prompt - Route 666)