Okay, since everyone seems to be more interested in the Annie/Jimmy storyline, I decided to give it a shot. Please let me know what you think, and for those of you reading my other story (Aftermath) I am going to try and finish it soon.
Read and Review!
Disclaimer: I own none of these characters, except for the ones I made up!
All mistakes are my own, and I am sure there are plenty!
It was one thirty in the morning, and the cold November chill had set in. Rachel Meeks shivered slightly as she walked toward her car in the Houston PD parking lot. Rachel was just coming off her shift at the Houston homicide unit and was exhausted after working long hours to solve the latest case. She got in her car and headed towards her apartment, completely oblivious to the headlights in her mirror that made every turn that she did.
As Rachel parked twenty minutes later, she seen another car park across the lot. She didn't give it a lot of thought, this was a busy part of town at all hours. As she made her way across the lot, she started trying to find her keys before she got to her door. Just as she pulled them out she heard soft footsteps behind her, but it was too late. As she turned to look for the person following her, she felt a sharp blow to the back of her head and her world went black.
The phone on the night stand rang four times before Annie finally rolled over and grabbed it. "Annie Frost," she said through her pounding headache. "I'll be right there," she said a second later and then hung up the phone.
She jumped slightly as she felt a hand run up her naked side. She wasn't use to sharing her bead with another person. "What is it?" her partner Jimmy asked in a sleep filled voice.
"We got a rape murder downtown. The guy left a note…he signed it el Diablo…Jimmy, he's back." Annie said as she got out of the bed, wrapping up in the sheet as she headed for the bathroom.
Jimmy shook his head to try and clear it. The team, except for Annie, had went out for drinks after the McGraw case. He came by Annie's later to find her drinking alone. She took a lot of cases personal and this last case was no exception. She probably would have been fine if Katie Calvin's father hadn't of shown up as they were leaving.
Jimmy had found her half drunk and thinking way to much about how she wished she had shot Bob McGraw right between the eyes instead of in his Kevlar vest, and that scared her. Jimmy finally convinced her that everyone felt that way, a lot more often than they admitted most of the time. For example, he was glad Luke killed Carson Puckett, and Annie was the first and only person that would ever know that.
They ended up drinking too much, and letting some things happen that probably shouldn't have. They were partners and best friends. They knew each other inside out, and Jimmy's relationship with Natalie was, well…undefined at the moment. However, Jimmy did not regret it. He felt a connection with Annie, and knew she felt the same, but he also knew her well enough to know that she would never admit her feelings.
He finally got up and walked into the bathroom with no warning. He found her in her bra and panties and her tooth brush in her hand. Her hair was wet from the quick shower she had taken. "What the hell Jimmy, don't you knock?" she said, wrapping a towel around herself.
"Annie," he said pointing towards the towel, "Is that really necessary after…" he trailed off, letting her finish the thought on her own.
She closed her eyes and shook her head slowly, "We really let things get out of hand." She kept her eyes toward the floor.
Jimmy walked up to her and took her chin in his hand, pulling her face up until she looked at him. "Boots, I don't regret anything. As far as I'm concerned, that probably should have happened years ago. But, if you do…regret it, just tell me. Tell me it was a huge mistake, and it will never happen again, and we can go back to the way things were. I will never bring it up again."
Annie felt the tears in her eyes. She hated how he knew her so well. That's exactly what she wanted to say, but it would be a lie and he knew it. "I don't know how I feel Jimmy, but I do know it probably should not have happened the way it did."
She turned around, trying to put space between them, but he wouldn't let her. He wrapped his arms around her from behind, running his hand through the slit in her towel and letting his little finger slide beneath the waistband of her underwear. He felt her quiver from his touch and smiled to himself as he brushed his lips across her neck. He felt her lean into him and leaned over to whisper in her ear, "It doesn't matter how it happened…it did. And I don't want to go back to the way things were…but I will…if that's what you want," he trailed off as he kissed her neck again.
She finally pulled away from him, "We can't do this now…we have to go." She pulled her hair back into a pony tail and went out to put her clothes on. She stuck her head back in the bathroom where Jimmy was showering and said, "I'm gonna run by the scene, I will meet you at the office."
"Annie, give me five minutes and I'll come with you." Jimmy said as he turned the water off. He hurried out and pulled his clothes from last night on. Annie looked at with furrowed eye brows. "These will have to do until we get the office. I have some clothes there in the bunks," he told her.
Finally they walked into the scene in the downtown Houston apartment. The woman known as Rachel Meeks was splayed across the bed in the nude, her hands tied to each side of the headboard and her feet tied to each side at the bottom of the bed. She had numerous bruises and scrapes all over her body, but mostly on her face. Her nose looked to be broke and both of her eyes were black. But what stood out the most was the big read slash that reached from one side of her neck to the other. This was the most gruesome scene Annie had been to in a long time, and the site of it took both her and Jimmy's breath.
Just then a detective walked up to them and extended his hand, "I'm Captain Russo, I appreciate you guys coming to the scene, I know it's not something you usually do. The victims name is…was Detective Rachel Meeks. She has worked in my homicide unit for three years and was very good at her job. The chief says we have to turn this case over to you guys, but I would appreciate being kept in the loop."
"You got it," Annie said. "I apologize for your loss, and I want you to know that we take the murder of a fellow officer of the law very personal. Do you know anything about a note that was left at the scene?"
Captain Russo pulled an evidence bag off of the counter. "Yea, your Annie right?"
"Yes, I'm sorry. I'm Annie Frost, and this is my partner Jimmy Godfrey," she said.
"I guess this was meant for you then," Russo said as he handed her the note.
Jimmy stepped closer as he read the note over her shoulder.
It's been a while since my last visit. You really made it hell on me for a while. Things will be different this time though. I won't make the same mistakes again, you can count on that. Take care, Annie Frost.
Until we meet again,
Annie felt goose bumps run up her arms. She had almost had this guy three years ago, and when he got away he had almost killed her. If it hadn't of been for Jimmy, he would have. He had the knife at her throat but couldn't finish the job due to Jimmy knocking him off of her. He did however manage to make a deep enough cut to warrant a night at the hospital and over a dozen stitches. As soon as Jimmy had seen the blood he had dropped to his knees and covered it with his hand. By the time Annie had convinced him she was not dying, Diablo had disappeared, never to be heard from again, until now.
Annie looked up at Captain Russo, "We're gonna catch him, okay" she nodded. "We'll get him."
By the time Annie and Jimmy made it back to the office, it was breaking day. Annie had called the rest of the team in to work early and they were all starting to get there as Jimmy came out of the bunks with fresh clothes on. Annie was in the conference room alone as Jimmy walked in. She was so engulfed in a file she didn't notice him walk up behind her.
"You okay?" he asked, seeing her jump slightly.
"Why wouldn't I be?" she said, not turning around.
"Come on Annie, it's not every day we get a love letter from a fugitive," Jimmy said as he placed a hand on her shoulder and squeezed softly.
She closed her eyes at his touch, "Jimmy, not here. I can't do this here." She put some distance between them as the rest of the team walked in.
"So what's up that couldn't wait until our regular shift started?" Daisy said yawning.
"Diablo's back," Jimmy said, which looked to wake Daisy up quite a bit.
"Wow, what's it been…three years, right?" Daisy asked.
"Diablo, the devil?" Luke asked.
Annie nodded as she pulled up the case on the big screen. "Willy Vasquez, aka el Diablo, has raped and murdered seven women and has been on the lam for three years now. Before he went under he shot and killed two cops, and injured three more. We figured he crossed into Mexico when he disappeared but we never had any evidence to prove it. Last night he raped and murdered Rachel Meeks, a homicide detective for HPD. He left a note for us on the body. He wants us to know he's back. He's playing with us and this time, we're gonna catch him." Annie stared at the photo of Diablo with hate in her eyes. She still had a small scar on her neck from his knife and she unconsciously reached up and rubbed her fingers over it.
Jimmy picked up where Annie had left off, "Diablo is thirty two years old now. His mother is white, father is Mexican. Mother lives in the outskirts of Houston. To our knowledge, he's had no contact with her in over ten years. His father resides in the Texas State Prison at Huntsville. He was busted on the murder of his mistress and their unborn child. The mistress threatened to go to the wife when she found out she was pregnant if Juan Vasquez didn't tell her about them. A few months later she was found with her throat slit in her apartment. Diablo was seventeen when that happened and three years later he committed his first act of violence. He beat the hell out of his girlfriend, nobody knows why. She said he just 'went off'. He served a short stint and when he was released he escalated. He made our most wanted five years ago. This guy is smart, covers his tracks, and will not hesitate to take anyone out that gets in his way," he warned as he stared at Annie.
An hour later, the team was outside of Angela Vasquez's house gearing up. They knew Diablo probably wasn't there, but they weren't going to take any chances. "Listen guys, on the unlikely chance Diablo's in there, even if you have him cornered and he acts like he has given up, don't let your guard down. It's this guy's mo to fake submission and come at you when your least expecting it…I have the scar to prove it."
Everyone nodded, Luke looked surprised, but the rest remembered the case very well.
Annie knocked loudly on the door, "US Marshals, open up" she yelled.
A second later a small lady opened the door, "Angela Vasquez, I need you to step outside," Annie said as she grabbed the woman's arm and pulled her out the door.
"What's this about?" Angela asked confused.
The marshals went in and cleared the house. Diablo wasn't there. "Ma'am, I need you to tell me the last time you spoke with your son," Annie demanded as she walked back out on the porch.
"I haven't. I don't know where my son is. I swear. What has he done now?" she asked.
"He killed a homicide detective last night. Look, I hope you're telling the truth, for your sake. Your son is a very dangerous man. If you hear from him, call me immediately," Annie said as she gave her a card.
Angela Vasquez shook her head in disbelief, "I don't know why I am so shocked. Willy was always just like his father…no good. I just can't believe I raised someone as evil as him."
They combed every inch of Angela's house to make sure there was no evidence of her son. They also looked through her garage and her car. There was no sign of him.
Finally, Annie turned towards the vehicle, "Let's go, I wanna stop by HPD homicide office and see if they recovered anything helpful from the crime scene," she said to Jimmy. "Tell the rest of the team to wait on us back at the office."
When they reached Houston homicide unit it was oddly quiet. They found Captain Russo in his office. Annie lightly knocked as they entered. She smiled apologetically, "Sorry to bother you today, we just wanted to see if you guys found anything at the scene that may be of use. Anything that seemed out of place, that maybe belonged to the killer instead of the victim?"
Russo just shook his head, "We didn't find squat. No prints, no semen. The guy cleaned up, covered his tracks. The only evidence we have is the note, which was also clean of any prints."
Annie nodded, "Looks like we may be at a dead end. We need to find out where he's been the last three years. That will let us know more about where he's going…Thanks Captain, I will let you know if we come up with anything."
The ride back to headquarters was silent, both marshals deep in thought. There was no where left to go from here. This is when the team got very frustrated. They would probably spend days chasing their tails until Diablo struck again and then it would start all over until he screwed up.
They went to their desks when they got back to the office. After working a while looking for any transactions in Willy Vasquez's name in the last three years, Jimmy looked up at Annie, "How do we even know that this is the real Diablo?"
Annie rolled her eyes, "Come on Jimmy, it fits him down to a tee. He ties her up, beats the hell out of her, rapes her, and then slashes her throat. She fits his type, plus was a police officer. A guy without his experience would never be confident enough to go after a homicide detective."
"Maybe this isn't his first time either, and maybe he want's headlines. Plus, Diablo's type is pretty wide open. Petite women that are between 25 and 35 years old. And no matter who it is, I think they are wanting your full attention." Jimmy said, pointing a finger at her.
"What makes you say that?" Annie asked.
"Well, first off there's the note. But even more so, everything about this victim reminds me of you. She was a tough cop, known for taking unnecessary risks on the job. She had an extremely high arrest record. Hell Annie, she even looks you…her hair, her eyes," Jimmy said.
"How did you find all of that out about her?" Annie said feeling chills run up her spine.
"I have been researching her. There's not much to track as far as Diablo goes, so I thought I would find out more about the victim. He targeted her specifically. He watched her, followed her. He knew her. Did you know that her place was broken into a few weeks ago, but nothing of any value was taken. Whoever broke in just took a couple of photos and left the door wide open. Annie, he could be watching you to," Jimmy told her.
"Jimmy, you're getting way ahead of yourself. There is absolutely no proof of that. He wants our attention because he wants us to think he is smarter than we are. We almost got him last time, so he will be even more careful now. But he's not going to stop until we make him," Annie said with confidence.
Just then Luke practically ran up to their desks, "Annie, this was just delivered. Where the return address goes it just says El Diablo. And…it's addressed to you."
Annie rose and took the envelope, ripping it open. On the paper inside she read, Sooner or later, your mine. There was also a photo of her walking into her building, talking on her cell phone. She sank back down in her chair both enraged and a little shaky at the same time.
Jimmy took the paper from her and read it himself, "Is this enough proof for you?"
"This doesn't make any sense. Why me? Why is he after me?" Annie asked shaking her head.
"You're the one that got away. Maybe he was after you before we forced him into hiding. But now we know he is for sure. I suspected it three years ago, but there just wasn't enough proof. Now there is. Annie, you have to be careful. If he ever finds you off your guard…" Jimmy trailed off.
"Yea, I know," Annie said, touching her scar again. She then turned and started pacing, "Dammit, how do we find this guy. He's been missing for three years. Why resurface now? Something had to set him off." She paused for a few seconds, "Luke, check on his father. See if he's had any visitors that match his son's description. If so, we need to get up to Huntsville and talk to him now."
"I'm on it," Luke said as he turned to go.
Annie sat back down at her desk, still shocked that Jimmy was right. "It's okay Boots, we all got your back."
"It still just doesn't make any sense. Maybe he's trying to throw us off," she suggested.
"Bluff or not, you're not staying by yourself until this is resolved…" Jimmy put his hands up as she began to protest, "There is nothing you can say to change my mind…now you either get me, or I'm calling in two officers to guard your door. Your choice."
"That's ridiculous Jimmy. I can handle myself," she argued.
"I'm not saying you can't Annie, but I'm also not taking the chance. Now, we can either go get your dog and we can stay here in the bunks, or we can stay at your place…but either way, I'm not leaving you alone."
Annie rolled her eyes and let out a sigh. There was no use in arguing with him. He was as stubborn as she was once he made his mind up. She really just needed a chance to wrap her head around what had happened between them last night. They already had a love hate relationship before they fell into bed together, and she was sure that was going to make it worse. They were to close, especially now, to be partners but she couldn't stand the fact that, if the chief found out they may be more than friends, he would have no choice but to split them up. It was stupid because, lovers or not, the way they felt about each other would never change. They were best friends, and he was the closest thing to family that she had ever really had.
Thirty minutes later the whole team was in the conference room. Luke had a list of Juan Vasquez's visitors which included his lawyer and someone by the name of Braulio Rodriguez.
"The guard didn't remember what this guy looked like but I did some checking and there is no one by this name registered to drive in the state of Texas…I figure it's worth looking into," Luke said as he handed Annie the list.
"Looks like he visited three times in the last four weeks. Jimmy, we're going to Huntsville. We'll call if we find anything useful. You guys just keep checking financials. See if you can find anything on Braulio Rodriguez, it could be Diablo's new alias but I doubt he is going to make things that easy for us," Annie finished as she grabbed her jacket and headed for the door.
An hour and a half later Jimmy and Annie sat across from Juan Vasquez. "What can I do for the US Marshals today?" he asked in a thick Spanish accent.
"You can tell us why your son visited you three times in the last month," Annie said getting right to the point.
"Ah, and you must be the famous Annie Frost. My son said you may show up," Vasquez smiled at her.
"Yea, what else did he say?" Annie asked not backing down even though she had a sick feeling in her stomach.
"Said to tell you that you and your marshal buddies were wasting your time looking for him. That he would come to you when he was ready for you, but until then you may as well forget about it," the inmate said cockily.
"What else did he say. Anything about what he's planning?" Jimmy asked knowing he probably wouldn't get a straight answer.
"What makes you pigs think I'm going to tell you anything to help you find my son? What kind of father would that make me, huh?" Vasquez smiled again.
Annie rolled her eyes and laughed sarcastically, "Yes, since you've been such a great role model so far!" She brought her eyes back to the older man and became very serious, "Look Juan, you do something for me, and maybe I can do something for you. If you ever want to see the outside of a prison again, you help us find your son. If not, you can rot in your cell and I will personally guarantee you will never step foot outside this prison until the day you die. You see, your up for parole in what, ten years? I can add obstruction and accessory before and after the fact on every murder your son commits from now until we catch him. After that, you can kiss the parole board goodbye," Annie promised.
"You don't scare me Annie Frost. There is nothing you can say to me that will make me speak against my son. I may be up for parole in ten years, but I know if Willy is ever caught his life will be over. I can't help kill my own son," Vasquez shook his head.
"Come on Annie, he doesn't know anything that will help us anyways," Jimmy said hoping to get a rise from the man.
"Oh, I wouldn't be so sure. One thing I will tell you is that you better watch your back. He really has it in for you Ms. Frost. I won't rat out my son but I know if he's responsible for the death of a US Marshal, he will surely get the needle if he ever gets caught," Vasquez said and then rose up and motioned for the guard.
"Just a minute," Annie told the guard, "I'd like to have a look at his cell."
"Sure thing," the guard said as he led them towards the block where Vasquez was held.
Once they entered the cell they found Vasquez's bed neatly made and a few books and magazines stacked on the floor. "He doesn't have a cell mate?" Jimmy asked the guard.
"No, he can't get along with one. He's never done anything to extreme, but a fight breaks out in his cell within two or three hours of putting another guy in there. We finally decided the easiest way to prevent anything more drastic from happening was to keep him celled by himself as long as we have the space to do so," the guard said.
"Does he have any friends? Anyone you see him talking to on a regular basis?" Annie asked.
The guard thought for a minute, "There is this one inmate, Dave Sheppard. That's really the only guy I have ever seen Vasquez associate with at all, but I think they are pretty tight."
"What's Sheppard in for?" Jimmy asked.
"I will have to look at his file to be sure, but I think its bribery and drug trafficking," the guard replied.
"You check and make sure, we are going to search this cell, then we want to interview Sheppard. Find out how long he's in for and everything he's been charged with," Annie told him.
Annie and Jimmy found a stack of letters under the mattress that were from Diablo. He signed them WV for Willy Vasquez instead of using his nickname. They took all of the letters and checked through the books and magazines for any more that might be hidden away. When they went back to the visitation room the guard had Dave Sheppard waiting for them.
"What did you find out?" Annie asked the guard quietly.
"Sheppard is in for fifteen, he is currently in his fifth year. He was convicted on drug trafficking and extortion but accepted a plea and testified against a major drug lord. That's why he didn't get more time," the guard said handing Annie the man's file.
"Mr. Sheppard, I'm Annie Frost with the US Marshals, and this is my partner Jimmy Godfrey. I need to ask you a few questions about Juan Vasquez," Annie said.
Sheppard nodded, "Okay, what do you want to know?"
"Has Vasquez ever mentioned his son?" Annie asked
"He has a couple of times. Says he's proud of him, that he takes after his old man, that kind of stuff," Sheppard answered.
"Anything else, like what his plans are or has he ever mentioned a location where his son may be," Annie asked.
"No location, but Juan did say his son has some big plans. Never did really elaborate on what they are," Sheppard told them.
"Listen Mr. Sheppard, if he says anything else, even if it doesn't seem relevant, I want you to tell that guard right there and he's going to let us know. But don't let Vasquez know your ratting him out. If you help us out, and it leads to us finding his kid, we will see what we can do about getting your stay here shortened significantly," Jimmy told him.
"I'll see what I can do, but Juan's going to know I talked to you guys, probably already does. He's not going to say anything that he doesn't want to get back to you, but I will give it my best shot. I hate to do that to the guy but hey, in here it's every man for his self, right," he stated.
"We appreciate that Mr. Sheppard. You can tell him you talked to us, but you convinced us you didn't know anything. He may never mention his son again, but if he does, let us know because it could mean that they are staying in contact," Annie said as she gathered her things and motioned to the guard.
On the way back to Houston Annie went through the letters they had found in Vasquez's cell. Most of them were insignificant, Diablo just checking up on his father. Telling him he was sorry for staying out of touch for so long. Finally Annie ran across one that mentioned Laredo. "The son of a bitch was staying right on the border, probably so that he could cross over if he ever caught wind of us getting close to him," she told Jimmy. "He calls us stupid and incompetent to many times to count. Says we wont know what hit us when he comes back into town."
"He had to know we would find the letters. He's taunting us," Jimmy said tightening his grip on the steering wheel.
It was now nearing nightfall. Annie called Daisy back at the office and told her to send everyone home and they would meet back at the office at eight the next morning unless they heard from her sooner. Then she and Jimmy headed for her place to sort through the rest of the mail. The closer they got, the more nervous Annie got about their 'situation'. She knew how she felt, and she knew Jimmy felt the same way, but she also knew she didn't want to mess up what they had, their friendship, or their partnership. It was to complicated, and she was pretty sure it was only going to get worse.
She took a deep breath as Jimmy parked the escalade and jumped out. She took her time walking up and pulled her keys out with shaky hands. She felt a chill when Jimmy stilled her hands and took the keys from her. Their eyes met as he opened the door, and it was then that she knew he didn't have any intention in fighting his feelings any longer.
Well, there is chapter one…I had a hard time finding a stopping point and I'm not sure how good the case is going to be, but I am hoping to include a lot more Annie/Jimmy action in the next chapter. Let me know what you guys think!