Author's Note: Two chapters in one night? The world must be coming to an end or something! Hope you like it!
After having the other local officers stay behind with Becky to wait for the medical examiner to arrive, Spencer and Emily went to meet up with the rest of the team inside the restaurant. When they got there they were greeted by the sight of JJ standing with Becky's family, her almost step mother broken down and curled into her fiancés arms, her loud sobs audible over the murmurs and speculations sounding off from the rest of the patrons. They approached Amy and Rossi who were standing off to the side.
"What's going on?" Spencer asked, stepping up to Amy's side, trying to maintain a quiet tone so the other people in the restaurant wouldn't hear.
"JJ just informed the family that we found Becky," she replied. Her voice expressed grief that her face tried to hide. This wasn't the outcome any of them had hoped for. "Percy is still denying any involvement."
"Do you think he's telling the truth?" Spencer asked.
"I find it hard to believe that a victim so close to his preferences winds up in the woods next to where he works and he has nothing to do with it," Rossi answered. "That's too big a coincidence if you ask me."
"Yea, but if he is responsible then he knows what's waiting for him in prison," Spencer countered. "His best chance would be to cooperate and try to work out some sort of deal that keeps out of general population."
"Unless he's certain that there isn't any evidence other than the circumstantial victimology for us to work with," Amy pointed out. Spencer had raised a compelling argument for them to think about, this guy had been through the system and know what to expect. But that also meant that they he knew that they had relatively nothing to hold or charge him on. Giving anything else up could be considered a stupid move on his part.
"We do have something else though," Emily said, raising the other agents awareness to what she and Spencer had discovered at the dumpsite. "Becky fought back. There was blood under her fingernails. Whoever grabbed her would have fresh scratches on them and their DNA on her."
"Judging by the fact that she was strangled and the bruise pattern it left, the scratches would most likely be on the UNSUBS forearm," Spencer added.
Not needing any further prompting the four agents headed to the manager's office where Percy Shotts was still being detained. They entered as Derek was finishing his sentence, "…Help you if you don't tell us what happened."
"I can't tell you anything because I had nothing to do with it," Percy responded, stressed out to say the least. "And I told you, I'm done talking."
"Fine, don't talk. Just prove to us that you didn't do it," Emily said. "Roll up your sleeves."
"What?" A chorus of questions came from the three men.
"Becky had blood under her fingernails when we found her. Whoever took her has scratches on his arm," Emily explained. "You want to prove to us you had nothing to do with this then show us."
For whatever reason Percy hesitated until Hotch gave the order, "Do it."
Rolling up his sleeves Percy revealed scratch free skin. Varying degrees of disappointment and frustration filled the agents and it was only compounded when Percy opened his mouth, "Can I go now?"
"No,' Was Hotch's stern reply as he left the room with the rest of the team right behind him.
"But I had nothing to do with it! I just proved that!" He shouted trying to follow behind them and finding his path blocked by the local officers who came in to fill the space the agents had vacated.
Outside the office the team rounded up with JJ joining them. "How's the family taking the news?" Amy asked.
"Not well. Tonight was apparently supposed to be a sort of celebration for them. They were going to become a family; Helen told me she was planning to adopt Becky." The regret in JJ's voice was a evident of the fact that to her this was the worst part of the job, she hated having to notify the family that their greatest fear had come to pass. "Has he confessed yet?" She asked, looking in at Percy, who was still agitated.
"He's still claiming that he had nothing to do with it," Derek responded. "And now it looks like he may just be telling the truth."
"What?" She asked, stunned by the revelation.
"Becky had blood under her nails which means she fought back and whoever took her would have evidence of her attempt to defend herself," Spencer explained. "Percy doesn't have a mark on him."
"So we're back to square one," JJ said. "The family gets to go home knowing that their daughter will never get to go home again and they don't even get to know who is responsible."
"We need to run over the profile and figure out who had access to Becky," Hotch said.
As the rest of the team talked among themselves trying to find out what they missed, Emily's gaze settled on the grieving couple. Though the look on his face reflected on of sadness, Mr. Stover still appeared to be playing the strong supporter for his pregnant fiancé. Helen herself was more visibly upset. Her body was shaking with emotion as her tears spilled onto frank's jacket sleeve. Something about the whole scene seemed wrong to her. It took a moment for her to figure out exactly what it was.
The restaurant was hot. Emily herself had taken her own jacket off as soon as she entered the building. The only member of the team who still wore anything more than their shirt was Hotch who as always was dressed in a suit. Helen, who stood in Frank's arms, was wearing just a t-shirt. That alone wouldn't have been so strange if it didn't bring to light the strange feeling she had about the victim's father the whole night. Thinking over his behavior only seemed to confirm her gut feeling.
"Does anyone else think it's hot in here?" Emily asked the group around her.
Everyone else stood puzzled by the seemingly random question. Amy was the first to answer, "A little. Why?"
"All of us took our jackets off as soon as we came in," Emily replied. "Frank has been wearing his all night."
It didn't take long for everyone to catch on to what she was thinking, however only Derek and Amy followed her over to the couple. Helen and Frank pulled a part as the agents approached. "Mr. Stover could you please take your jacket off for us?"
"What?" he asked, his voice a attempt at sounding distraught. Emily heard something else behind his word, fear.
"Your jacket," Emily repeated. "Take it off please."
"Why do you want him to take his jacket off?" Helen asked.
"When agent Prentiss and Dr. Reid found your daughter they noticed blood under her fingernails," Amy stated, her eyes fixed on Frank Stover. "Blood that came from her attacker."
"You think that I killed my own daughter?" He asked, shocked and enraged. The emotions, genuine as they were, were probably more from being found out then about the unlikeliness of the accusation. "That's completely absurd. Why would I..."
"You're the only one in this place wearing a jacket," Derek said. "And if you ask me, it's not all that cold in here. Which leads us to question if you're wearing it to hide something."
"We just lost our daughter and are accusing her father of being the one who killed her?" The grief she had been feeling had been turned into a rage directed at the agents who dared to suggest something so perverse. "All because he is wearing his jacket?"
Due to her raised tone the rest of the people in the restaurant were now trying to find out what was going on as Hotch and the others tried their best to keep them away.
While she understood how Helen must have been feeling, Emily's instinct and experience told her there was little chance she was wrong in her assumption and she needed to press on. "I'm sorry if we are upsetting you, but the truth is that this is the only time your fiancé has shown any genuine emotion over anything involving his daughter."
"You bitch!" Mr. Stover began before moving to confront Emily. Derek immediately moved in between them to hold him at bay.
"His only outbursts are in direct response to our accusations," Emily continued unfazed. "He's held you close all night, but you've been the only one to shed a tear. His gestures are protective over you and your unborn child, which might have been reasonable under the circumstances, except when you take into account the fact that he considers Becky his daughter, a part of his life. Meaning he doesn't see her as your daughter or a part of your future family."
"That's not true! We were starting a family together," Helen insisted in a strained voice. A hand rested on her growing belly reminded the agents that it was important to be mindful of the stress she was under. Their duty to bring justice to Becky's killer didn't change though. "He was excited for us. I was even going to adopt Becky so we could officially be a real family. We both loved her. Tell them Frank," she pleaded, looking at her fiancé. "Tell them the truth! Tell them you would never hurt our daughter."
A wince at her last words and a hesitant pause later he replied, "How could you even think that?"
The hesitant pause and the fact that he didn't answer her question directly was enough for her to start to panic. "Frank…It's not true. You didn't….tell me you didn't. You didn't kill her."
Switching response tactic he said. "Of course not Honey. You know I could never do anything like that. Don't tell me they really have you believing that I could kill my own daughter."
And with that last statement light flashed in her eyes and the small seed of doubt began to sprout. "you mean our daughter Frank."
"That's what I said," he replied, though you could tell he knew he was caught in a tangle he couldn't get out of.
"No, you said your daughter. Not our daughter, your daughter. What happened to the family we were going to be? You, me, Becky and the baby?" Her rash tome flowed out with yet more tears. "Take you jacket off."
"You can't be serious?" He tried one last plea. "Helen, you can't think I would…"
"I don't know what to think anymore. Take your jacket off Frank," She said, cutting him off. "You want me to trust you? To believe you? If you don't have anything to hide then you shouldn't have a problem taking it off."
Frank still didn't move but with a little help from Derek the jacket came off anyway. Once it was gone they could see the long scratches that ran down Frank's right forearm, the one he had used to Strangle Becky. The last marks left from her attempt to save her life.
"No," Helen gasped. "How could you? You killed my daughter." Sickened to her stomach she dropped to her knees, followed by Amy who lent a supportive arm around her.
"She wasn't you daughter, she was a part of my past," Frank said, eyes and voice as cold as ice. "A past I didn't want messing up my future. I was starting a new life with you. We didn't need her to interfere with that."
"I loved her like she was my own," Helen said.
"Frank Stover, you are under arrest for the murder of your daughter Becky," Emily said as Derek grabbed Frank's arms behind his back and cuffed him.
Spencer and Amy spent the drive back to her house in silence. Once inside they prepared for bed and Amy curled into Spencer's side. "You know it's not your fault right?" He asked her. "Even if we had answered that first phone call, we would have been too late. There's nothing we could have done."
"I know," she replied. "That doesn't make it hurt any less."
Author's note: Aww...so sad. I'll try and cheer her up next chapter!