A/N: This story contains similar themes to my other work in progress "Unforgiveable". The beginning of the story is kind of similar but will then change drastically after the first chapter or so – you will understand when you read it.
I got such an overwhelming response to "Unforgiveable" that I decided to let this idea out as well - it was bugging me
Please review (I'm wearing my flame-proof undies!!).
Criminal Minds is not mine (...yet!).
WARNING: Contains adult themes.
Making Sacrifices – Chapter One
Emily felt uncomfortable and cold. Her head ached dully and her shoulders were stiff. The mattress against her hip seemed excessively hard- too hard, she thought, as she foggily opened her eyes, surfacing back to consciousness...
Awaking with a start, Emily became aware that she was certainly not in her bed and was indeed bone-chillingly cold. She blinked, taking in her surroundings slowly in the dim light. She sat on a dirty concrete floor, her legs folded uncomfortably beneath her and her left hip and shoulder resting numbly against a rough brick wall. Glancing upwards, Emily noticed with dismay that she had been handcuffed, her handcuffs by the look of it, and that they were attached to a ring on the brick wall above her. What the...??
Disjointed images filled her chaotic mind. The case. Climbing into the SUV with Hotch and Reid. The highway. The highway... oh god!
Panic gripped Emily as her memories began flooding back.
The team had been assisting the US Marshalls on a case involving two escaped prisoners. It was well past midnight and Hotch had suggested that they convene at the precinct. Reid and Hotch were in the front of the SUV, quietly discussing the UNSUB's possible next moves whilst Emily sat in the back, talking with JJ on her mobile phone.
There was a sudden bone-shattering impact to the side of the vehicle and the phone flew from her hand as she screamed. The sounds of breaking glass and buckling metal were deafening. Emily felt the car lurch wildly and roll over as she drifted into blackness.
Emily's eyes began to slowly adjust to the dim light. She appeared to be in a small cellar or garage of some sort. There were no windows and apart from a heavy metal workbench in one corner, the room was empty. A slight moan startled her and she noticed a dark shape crumpled against the wall next to her.
"Hotch?" she whispered. "Hotch? Is that you?"
"Prentiss?" Hotch's voice was raspy. "What the hell?"
"I don't know. Are you injured?"
"I don't think so. I'm..." Hotch grunted as he adjusted his position against the wall. "... A little sore that's all. You okay?"
"Just a headache. I'm fine."
"Where's Reid? Can you see him?"
"Over here." Came a weak voice from behind Emily. "I'm here."
Emily twisted against the wall in her restraints, turning to face Reid as best as she could.
"Reid? Are you hurt?"
"I'm..." Emily heard him cough slightly.
"I think I've hurt my stomach." He shivered. "I really don't feel so good."
From the fragile sound of his voice Emily was sure it was an understatement. Reid had been in the car in front of her, so had would have taken the worst of the impact. She tugged at the handcuffs with all her strength but could not free them from the wall, only succeeding in grazing her wrists in the process. She cried out in frustration.
"Prentiss stop it." Hotch admonished her. "You will only hurt yourself." He paused and Emily heard him shuffling around against the wall.
"My gun is missing..." another shuffle "Both of them."
"Me too." Emily had already checked. "Reid?"
"Same. Like you'd expect." Reid's tone was bleak.
"Do you remember the accident at all?" Emily began, attempting to discern if Reid may have suffered any head injuries.
"Accident?" He looked sceptical as he nodded at their surroundings. "Judging from our situation I seriously doubt that this was an accident. He planned it. All of it and..."
"Reid." Hotch warned. "Just try to stay focused okay. We don't know what this is. It may not be Arnold."
Emily shuddered next to him. Just the mention of Karl Arnold's name made her skin crawl. Her and Hotch had interviewed 'the fox' over a year ago now and her mind had still not fully recovered from the experience. Hotch noticed her discomfort and wished once again that he had not put her in that situation, especially in light of their current state. If it was indeed the 'fox' that had abducted them Emily would be by far in the greatest danger.
"Hotch - I was on the phone to JJ... Maybe Garcia can triangulate it and..." Emily stopped abruptly, hearing the jangle of keys and a door open. She turned to face Reid as an incredibly bright light blinded her eyes.
"Ohhh!" Emily winced as she tried to shield her closed eyes with her shoulder. A gasp emanated from Reid next to her and she painfully forced them open again.
Karl Arnold, the 'fox' stood smugly before her. Now slightly older and heavier that when she met him he was still the same 'fox' and she felt sickened just being near him.
"Emily Prentiss..." He leered at her. "Welcome! And... Agent Hotchner- nice to meet you again." Arnold smiled evilly, showing his teeth as Hotch glared at him, unmoved.
"And you must be Dr Reid – good to meet you too." Arnold took a step towards Reid who was looking decidedly ill.
"Cut the crap Karl!" Hotch yelled harshly. "You took our ID's! We both know that you know exactly who we are. What do you want from us?"
"Oh Agent Hotchner." Arnold reproached, shaking his head gleefully. "Always so passionate... so righteous... I forgot how good it was watching you squirm."
"You know you won't get away with this Karl! Kidnapping three Federal Agents... What do you really hope to gain from this."
"Enjoyment." Arnold grinned maliciously, cocking his head to one side and winking at Emily before returning his gaze to Hotch. "Aside of what you may think Agent Hotchner, I'm not stupid. I know that if they catch me I will be executed – it's inevitable really." He shrugged. "I've been stuck in that godforsaken prison for 4 years now and I have no intention of returning there. This will be the last stand of the 'fox' and I have nothing to lose."
Hotch was silent as Arnold's words echoed throughout the small cellar. He feared for his teammates ahead of himself. Reid was clearly injured, possibly seriously, and Prentiss had already attracted Arnold's unwanted desires on their previous meeting. He forced himself not to imagine what Karl had in store for her.
"Let them go." Hotch tried bargaining with him. "I'm the one who arrested you. It's me you want and..."
"Hotchner, Hotchner." Arnold gloated. "Forever the hero, upright and moral, even at your own expense." He sniggered. "Do you really think I would waste this chance?" Arnold paused and moved to stand closer to Emily and she trembled, failing in her attempts to show him no fear. Emily glanced fearfully at Hotch as Arnold produced a revolver and stroked it lightly down her chest.
Hotch struggled to remain calm. Emily looked so small and fragile backed against the wall next to him. She seemed to have diminished in size and under Arnold's covetous gaze and looked surprisingly vulnerable.
Stroking her chest seductively with Reid's revolver Arnold used his free hand to unbutton Emily's shirt. Emily shut her eyes in disgust and Hotch could restrain himself no longer.
"GET YOUR HANDS OFF HER!" He roared.
Emily's eyes flew open in shock. Hotch could see the trepidation in them as she stared back at him.
"GET YOUR FILTHY HANDS OFF HER!"
She had never seen him so furious before-so out of control. Reid was also yelling something next to her, but it was drowned out by Hotch's shouting.
Arnold smiled, delighted to have elicited such an emotional response from the normally passive agent. He had found a vulnerability to exploit, a weak spot. Torturing Aaron Hotchner was going to be more satisfying than he had imagined. He now knew exactly how to make him squirm.
Arnold withdrew his hand and turned to face Hotch. "Oh I'm sorry – was I stepping on your toes there? He feigned mock innocence. "I didn't know she was taken."
Hotch eyed him menacingly, not wanting to encourage him any further.
"Silly me. I forgot you lost your wife didn't you. Murdered in your house was it...?"
"Hotch don't listen to him!" Reid cried out hurriedly. "Don't let him get to you!"
"QUIET Dr Reid!" Arnold chastised him. He sauntered over to Reid and pushed the muzzle of the gun against Reid's temple. "Watch quietly and I might even let you live".
Reid squirmed. The pressure of the gun against his head was forcing him backwards and he fell against the wall with a thud. Struggling to sit up without the use of his hands caused Reid's shirt to come untucked from his trousers. Arnold grabbed the shirt and yanked it up a few inches, revealing a massive purplish bruise from the accident.
"Reid?" Emily gasped, appalled. Reid was undoubtedly seriously injured and from the looks of it, bleeding internally. He needed medical treatment, and fast.
She turned to Hotch and he stared back at her open-mouthed. Their situation was worsening by the minute and there was little he could do to improve it.
"Looks like your friend needs help. Think fast Agent Hotchner... You're the boss." Arnold challenged Hotch. "Can you save him? Can you protect her?" he gestured at Emily with the revolver.
"You're pathetic!" Emily screeched. "What do you think he..."
Arnold slapped Emily across the cheek with a resounding crack. She gasped and cried out softly.
Hotch just stared, cold and silent; doing his best not to show any emotion.
Arnold was disappointed at the lack of reaction from him; there was none of the anguish that he had enjoyed earlier. He withdrew a key from his trouser pocket and advanced on Emily, prodding the revolver into her ribcage. Emily edged away from him as much as she could, but did not cry out.
Keeping the muzzle against her side, Arnold unlocked her handcuffs from the shackle on the wall and Emily fell to the ground in a heap, her legs and feet frozen underneath her. She attempted to stand; using her still handcuffed hands to push herself upwards but failed, rolling back onto her side.
Arnold grabbed her handcuffs roughly and she shrieked in pain as he used them to drag her across the dirty floor. With the revolver still against her, Arnold knelt on her chest to restrain her, attaching her handcuffs to the leg of the metal workbench on the wall opposite.
Hotch and Reid watched helplessly. Unable to defend her, they knew she must surely be terrified by this new predicament and Hotch wished once again that he had never taken her to meet Karl Arnold. He had an idea where this was leading and didn't like it one bit.
"GET WAY FROM HER!" Hotch was bellowing, his voice echoing in the small cellar. "Prentiss? Emily?"
Arnold was amused by his reaction. He loved seeing Hotch so furious.
"It's okay Agent Hotchner. I'm just borrowing her for a while. Please observe quietly."
Placing the revolver on the metal table above Emily, Arnold leaned over her and undid her bra as he whispered to her.
"Did you know that the female body is capable of withstanding far more pain than the male is? Did I once tell you that?" Although whispering, he made sure that Hotch could hear his words.
"You and I are going to test that theory..."