SAD was set in fall 2010 (about the time I started it). DOD (Double O Daddy) starts about early summer in 2011.
Disclaimer: nope, not mine!
I was standing by a wide river, the sky the grayish color of low clouds and the river a dirty brown. The far bank was awash with a red-orange glow, and the smell of smoke surrounded me. My heart pounded, because I knew that someone I loved was in danger.
Autumn McGee slowly blinked awake to find herself in her own bed; surrounded by the yellow and purple walls she had helped paint. With each blink, the image of a river bank in flames slowly faded. She yawned and looked over at her clock. 10:33 am. The number echoed around her mind for a moment, waiting to bounce off of something significant.
"Oh yeah," Autumn mused quietly as she remembered that this weekend, she was going to be hanging out with her dad, Abby, and the rest of the team at N.C.I.S.
"YES!" Out in the kitchen, Sarah McGee smiled. It sounded like her niece had woken up and remembered where she was going.
Autumn and Sarah finally arrived at the N.C.I.S headquarters, much to Autumn's excitement. Even though Special Agent Ziva David was the only one in at the moment besides Dr. 'Ducky' Mallard, it was still awesome to the girl. Her father, Agent Tim McGee, and 'Very' Special Agent Tony DiNozzo were out investigating a suspect's house, the team leader Agent Gibbs was up in the Director's office, and Abby Sciuto, the forensic specialist, was busy with a mountain of evidence in her lab, or, as she liked to call it, 'Labby'.
After a half hour, Tony finally came back. He was scowling and holding a cup of coffee, while a large purplish bruise was taking shape on his cheekbone.
"What happened?" Ziva asked, catching sight of it.
"A fist, Ziva. A fist happened." Tony grumbled as he sat down at his desk, still unaware of Autumn's presence. "McSplitLip is escorting the owner of said fist to interrogation."
"Is he okay?"
"McGee? He's fine. His shirt and face are a little bloody from the lip, but he's okay now." Tony looked over at McGee's desk as Ziva pointedly glanced in that direction. "Oh, hey, it's the Mini McGee!"
Autumn rolled her eyes. "Hi, Tony." Even though both of the agents were much older than her, they insisted that she call them Tony and Ziva. "Mr. DiNozzo is my father," Tony had joked, and Ziva said she had her reasons. And like everyone else, she just called Gibbs, Gibbs.
"Hey, you want to come with us? Watch the action from Observation?" Tony asked. Autumn had heard about Observation from her dad. It was next to Interrogation, with a one-way mirror so that you could see the suspects but they couldn't see you.
"Sure." Autumn said and hopped off of the chair. She followed Tony and Ziva through the halls until they reached two silver doors, one marked 'Interrogation 1' and the other marked 'Observation 1'. They entered Observation, a small, dark room, with a bunch of computers and recording devices against one wall and a large window on another. Autumn figured that this was the one-way mirror.
Through the glass, she could see another room. This one was stark and bare except for a table and two chairs on either side of the stainless steel table. A strong-looking woman sat on the side facing the mirror. She had short, spiky brown hair with green tips. Her cold green eyes were endlessly scanning the room, searching for weaknesses or escape routes or something along those lines. Her gray sweatshirt was torn at one shoulder, revealing a white tee shirt beneath, and her blue jeans were scuffed and torn. There was a bit of blood on the sweatshirt, probably from McGee's split lip since this woman bore no signs of injury.
Autumn jumped slightly as the door to Interrogation opened with a bang. A man strode in, walking like a prison warden who knows that he's in charge and there will be no uprisings while he's there. The man sat down with his back to the observers and opened a file. After a few minutes he spoke.
"So, Miss…Johnson is it? Or do you prefer Mrs. King? Miss Dawson? Ms. Koppel? Mrs. Walton?" Autumn realized with a jolt that it was Timothy McGee, her own father, sitting there, talking coldly to this woman. "Or perhaps you just answer to assassin!" he slammed his fist down on the table, making Autumn jump again.
"I have no idea what you're talking about." The woman said icily.
"Then why did you attack us when Agent DiNozzo and I came by your house? Why did you try to run?" McGee challenged. The woman narrowed her eyes at him. Tony and Ziva were talking quietly next to her, but Autumn wasn't listening to them.
"I panicked. I've done time for possession of weed, and I thought you were cops coming to get me for that again."
"It's says in your file here that you were sentenced to six to twelve months back in '06, got out on parole in five. That right?"
"If it's in that neat little folder you got there, then I guess it is." She sneered.
"Well, the thing is, you went off the radar for almost five years before popping up again in the beginning of this year. As a suspect in a homicide in New York City. Now, why is that?" McGee stared stonily at the woman, daring her to lie to him and face the consequences.
"You want the truth? I was visiting an ex boyfriend, seeing if he wanted to get back together. I have no idea how I got dragged into some murder investigation of a rich old hag that I've never met." She met his gaze evenly, refusing to back down.
"I'll tell you how you did it." McGee withdrew a picture from the file. It was of an old woman, dressed in what looked like a silk blouse and a designer black skirt, her white hair up in a beehive that looked good on her. The only jarring note of the picture was the pool of blood she lay in, seeping out from her slit throat, staining the grass underneath her.
The suspect looked at the picture coldly, showing nothing on the icy mask of her face.
"First," said McGee, "you watched Ms. Carlton for two weeks, studying her patterns, and learned that every Tuesday and Thursday, at two in the afternoon, she visited the grave of Lieutenant Colonel James Carlton, her deceased husband, alone. That's where you struck. It must have struck you as ironic," McGee laughed humorlessly, "that she should die above the bones of her war-hero husband, because that became your pattern."
"Do continue, this is most intriguing." The woman said snidely.
"Two months later," McGee pulled another picture out of the file, "you attacked again, this time killing Ms. McCleen, the widow of Major Robert McCleen, in Salt Lake City." The picture this time was of a younger woman, in her mid thirties, dressed in a flower print sundress, her mousy brown hair pulled back in a bun. Her throat was slit as well, and she was lying in blood-stained grass. "You watched her for a time too, and knew that she visited her husband's grave every Saturday after having lunch with her friends."
"I fail to see how you've connected me to all this." The woman's tone made it clear that she was not going to back down now.
"Nearly five months after your second kill, you murdered again." A third picture was produced, this time of a woman in her early fifties, a few light streaks of silver at her temples blending with her strawberry blonde hair. She had on a purple Relay For Life shirt and jeans, with her hair flowing loose around her shoulders. Again, her throat was slit and the grass beneath her was stained with her blood. "Ms. Jordan visited the grave of Lieutenant Colonel Charles Jordan every Friday after dropping their teenage daughters off at dance lessons, as you knew after watching her for a few weeks.
"Which brings us to four days ago, a little almost two months after killing Ms. Jordan, when you killed Mr. Falkmann, a widower whose deceased wife is Petty Officer Lisa Falkmann." The fourth picture was of a man in his late twenties. He had on a Miami Dolphins shirt and cargo shorts, with short cropped, almost military style, brown hair. "You knew, after weeks of surveillance, that he visited her grave every Thursday morning after dropping off their young son at preschool." Like the three women, his throat was slit, coloring the grass beneath him a nasty brownish shade.
"Well, you just seem to have all the answers now, don't you?" The heavy sarcasm was hard to miss in the suspect's voice. "So why aren't you clapping me in irons and sending me off to prison again?"
"Because," McGee leaned forward, "I want to know why."
I know, I know, not a lot of Autumn in this chapter, but I needed to establish some key points first that are the backbone of this story. Remember the names of those murdered military widows and widower, they are very important later on! Just be happy that I splurged on you guys, because this chapter was originally about a page and a half long. Now it's an entire three and a quarter pages long (not counting the authors notes). So be happy that I care enough to add more for you.
Please remember to review!