A/N My typed, albeit late, submission to the Fanfic Challenge Round 4 Pick Your Own Pairing challenge. Flashbacks are italicized. The town name is fictional to avoid misrepresenting a city. This has not been beta read so all mistakes are mine and mine alone.

Disclaimer: Do I own Criminal Minds? Do cows sing opera...? I hope so.

When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it-always.

Mahatma Gandhi

Moaning softly the young liaison gradually opened her blue eyes and blinked slowly. Grimacing slightly, JJ painfully sat up and glanced around at her surroundings. She sat on the dusty wooden floor of an abandon room save for a light bulb dangling precariously from the ceiling. As JJ attempted to stand to further explore her surroundings a white hot pain finally registered in her body and she quickly crumpled back to the ground unconscious.

JJ sat in her office searching through her large stack of horrendous possible cases before one caught her eye. After giving it a brief overview, she summoned the team to the conference room and presented the new case. "12 bodies have been discovered in Millsbury, New Jersey over the past six weeks, all of them were in law enforcement. The bodies show signs of torture and were stripped of their clothes."

"The unsub took two a week, he probably doesn't have a job that requires a typical 9 to 5 schedule," Morgan added.

"Not only that but they were partners, one male one female both physically strong enough to take down someone twice their size," Reid interjected.

"This suggests that the unsub presumably attacked them from behind," commented Prentiss.

"All right, wheels up in 10," Hotch said as he departed.

In another room in the well hidden, ancient house, Hotch lie on an uncomfortable, pathetic excuse for a mattress. He slowly rolled over until he hit the floor with an unforgiving thud. Dazed he opened his eyes and bit back a wave of nausea. After regaining his senses, he carefully sat up to inspect himself and locate the source of the nearly unbearable pain. When he glanced at his body he was taken aback at what he saw. His clothes were nowhere to be found and his body was covered in various burns and cuts; grimacing he tried to piece together what had happened.

The bodies had been found in a small clearing in the woods off the beaten path by a lost hiker. The unsub had placed them face up and nude to enhance the shock value. The deputy led them to the location before mumbling something about being late and making a hasty exit leaving them alone in the woods. Hotch couldn't blame him for wanting to get away so quickly; the biggest crime the middle aged deputy had probably seen was vandalism. Although he had been to plenty of crime scenes, he still got a shiver up his spine when he saw what human beings could do to one another. Hotch extracted himself from his thoughts and turned his attention to the inquisitive blonde standing next to him.

"JJ, do a quick scan and see if you notice anything the cops might have missed, remember they're not used to dealing with homicides. I'll check over here and see if I can't find anything that shows how he got his victims out here. This path is hard enough to negotiate alone, much less while carrying a body."

At this JJ nodded and headed off deeper into the woods to search for clues. While she looked around she couldn't shake the feeling that she was being watched. Feeling like a small animal under the watchful eye of a predator, she turned to make a hasty return back to Hotch. Before she could get to her feet however, she felt a heavy hand clasp over her mouth.

Struggling vehemently she tried to free herself but it was all in vain. As she tried to avoid breathing, she couldn't help but inhale some of the sweet-smelling scent. Her last thought before she drifted into unconsciousness was that Hotch would miraculously come to her rescue.

"JJ," Hotch called out, "where are you?" Hotch had come back from his thorough exploration of the woods and found what seemed to be tracks like that of an ATV. He presumed the vehicle most likely had a flatbed attachment or else the bodies might roll out. JJ had left to do a quick search of the woods 10 minutes ago. All he asked her to do was a visual scan not break out her field kit and do a detailed search. Hotch wandered into the thicket of woods where JJ had disappeared into.

Hotch glanced around for a few minutes before he took a sudden intake of air. One the ground before him lay his agent.

"JJ, can you hear me, please open your eyes."

The unit chief dropped to his knees instantly and felt for a pulse. Slowly he let out the breath he didn't realize he was holding after feeling the steady beating of her steady pulse. His relief was short lived however as his world exploded into color.

Jacobson stood behind Hotch, the large, rusty, shovel still in his hand. With a disturbed grin, he looked down at his newest collection of toys to play with. He only hoped these would last longer than the others.

You can't run away from trouble. There ain't no place that far.

Uncle Remus