Emily felt the cold, hard edge of the pistol digging into the thin layer of skin covering her skull, and winced, refusing to show any discomfort beyond that. Her jaw was tight with tension as she watched the detectives look toward her team, silently allowing them to handle negotiating the release of their own.
"The fuck do you think you're doing?" She snapped at Flynn. Lauren Reynolds would be pissed.
"Shut up," he growled.
"I think you might want to listen to him, Ms. Reynolds," Clyde calmly informed her.
"I suppose I'm your target then?" She asked.
He nodded. "Though we do have some questions for Mr. Ronan."
"Better ask 'em now, cause I'm not going anywhere with you." He pressed the gun even harder against her skull.
"Flynn, I think you're over-reacting here," Clyde began. "We can handle this rather simply. You release Ms. Reynolds, we arrest her, get a statement from you, and we're all happy."
"I don't believe you."
Emily rolled her eyes. Why didn't that surprise her? She eyed Clyde, and he shot her an unhappy warning look. She ignored it. Flynn was far too freaked to give into negotiating. His instant reaction here spoke of a man who had been waiting for the law to catch-up with him for a long time. No amount of talking would dissuade him from his paranoia-induced assumptions.
She stared back at Clyde, warning him with just her eyes, telling him what she was about to do. He pursed his lips in clear disagreement, but she ignored that too. Sure, she was risking her life, but they didn't have snipers in place, and Flynn was too unhinged to wait.
Simultaneously, she slammed her foot down on his, and drove her elbow into his stomach, grabbing his arm, and twisting herself out of his grip expertly. She pushed his gun hand away from her, even as his fist connected with her face. His elbow connected with her stomach as her team rushed up and pulled him off of her. Sean yanked the pistol from his hand, while Clyde pressed him up against the sedan, and Jeremy cuffed him. Just for show, the detectives approached her and cuffed her hands behind her back as well.
"You'll want to hit the hospital with that one, before we take her for booking," Clyde commented.
They nodded, and walked her to a police cruiser, explaining the situation to the two uniformed officers, before putting her inside. Emily watched from the back of the police cruiser, her hands cuffed behind her, as they all worked the scene. Flynn was dragged to another patrol car, and sent on his way, but not before they got his car keys.
Sean searched the parking lot, and located the Caddy sedan, the only one in the lot. She watched in silence as they opened the car, and began searching it with gloved hands. Flynn's actions gave them probable cause to search his vehicle, so now they only needed an address and probable cause to search the house.
Clyde came out of the passenger's side, holding something aloft triumphantly. This was followed by Sean stepping away from the open trunk, something in his hands, and his head downcast. His expression was anything but triumphant. Emily squinted through the darkness, but couldn't make out what either man was carrying.
Jeremy jogged up to her then, motioning the officers to roll down her window. "Clyde found the registration for the car, it has a fake name and presumably his address. Sean found a stuffed monkey smeared in blood. According to the detectives, it belonged to Kelsey Mercer."
She was a six year-old who turned up dead two months ago. Emily nodded, feeling both disgust and relief. "You're heading over there now?"
He nodded. "The officers will take you to the hospital, then station. We'll meet you there later."
"I don't need the hospital." She angled her neck to look at her chauffeurs. "Just the station, please."
Jeremy gave her an impatient look. "Clyde is already pissed at you, you don't want to make it worse."
Emily snorted. "I can deal with Clyde. I don't need a hospital."
He shook his head and shrugged, motioning the officers to head off with her. Emily let her body fall back against the seat as much as she could while in the cuffs. She was so damned tired.
Mosely wasn't looking at him. She hadn't glanced his way since the disapproving headshake as the Marshals were leaving. Like he gave a damn.
Taking their promise of a new life would be lying to himself about who he really was as a man. He didn't have it in him to settle down to a 9-5 life with a house in the burbs, a dog, and a SUV. Even if it would be a safer life for Declan. He also couldn't lie to himself that he wasn't done with Emily Prentiss. There were things unsaid and undecided, and he needed to deal with that first.
Even past these things though, he truly couldn't lie to himself that it had felt good these last few days. Finally working to get Flynn Ronan in a cage where he belonged, that felt good. His pulse was still pumping furiously as he waited for word. A big part of him hated being relegated to the sidelines, but he was still pleased to help take the man down.
The door opened then, and two patrols officers came in with a cuffed Emily between them. They closed the door, undid her cuffs, and left without a word. She glanced between the two of them, and then slid into a seat. "Flynn was coming in downstairs when we got here."
He nodded, but his focus had drifted from the cuffs already. The tension he felt at seeing her in restraints grew worse as he noted the red marks on her face. A small one at her right temple, and the left side of her face was already swelling a bit.
"What happened out there?" Mosely asked.
"Flynn decided I made a good hostage…I disagreed."
The other woman smirked, but Ian was instead feeling rage. If he'd been there, Flynn would never have gotten the opportunity to hurt her. It took all his restraint not to go to her, and touch her. He wanted to, so desperately.
They were only sitting minutes when the rest of their team came back, looking both relieved and disgusted. They slid into seats around the table, and the whole group had a good few minutes of awkwardly staring at each other before Ian couldn't take it anymore.
"You got him then?" He demanded.
Easter nodded. "It seems like many of his kind Flynn liked to keep trophies. There's enough at his house to nail him for the Boston murders, and probably all the others as well. He's being booked now, and I don't imagine Boston will let him out of their sight until he's been convicted."
Ian felt an immense sense of relief. The image of Gemma Cavanaugh flashed past his eyes, her gleeful giggle ringing in her ears, as if she'd never stopped riding her bike near his house. It was as if a great weight had been lifted from his chest, and he sighed with it. It felt wonderful, to know that Flynn could never hurt another child, and that he was part of making that happen. He'd given that little girl justice.
"Shame this state doesn't have the death penalty," Mosely muttered.
"This means you and your son get to disappeared now as promised," Clyde said.
Mosely answered before he could. "Yeah, change of plans. The Marshals left an hour ago."
Ian glanced at Easter as he looked back and forth between them. For only seconds his eyes drifted to Emily, who looked confused and worried. "I've information on Seamus. He needs to be taken off the street almost as badly as his brother."
Easter studied him, but Ian didn't flinch. He didn't flinch for anything. "Why the sudden generosity, Doyle?"
"The life your Marshals could offer isn't one I'm prepared to lead."
"You'll be putting Declan in danger," Emily insisted. Her face was tight, angry with him.
"Not if you put Seamus in a cell."
"And what do you plan to do in the meantime?" She crossed her arms over her chest.
He smiled at her. "Oh, I'm sure you could dig up a cozy little safe house somewhere."
"And, after we get Seamus, then what do you do?" It was McAllister, the Scotsman, that drew his attention then.
"I've got a head full of information. I've been dealing with bad people since I was a boy." He didn't feel that conflicted about giving it away either, not like he would have imagined.
They brought down Flynn, they could bring down Seamus, and he knew many men that were as deserving of imprisonment as the older Ronan brother. There were things even he couldn't condone, hurting children and raping women were among them. He'd dealt with many men that engaged in both. When you were a criminal performing criminal acts, you couldn't be too picky with whom you did business.
"Just like that?" Easter asked. "You're going to give up your associates just like that?"
"I've conditions, but those be met, you'll get whatever I've to give."
Easter sighed. "I'll need to clear this with our superiors. Em, stay with him." He waved the others out.
Ian eyed his sole companion. "Hope I didn't get you in trouble, Love."
"Ian, what the hell are you doing?" She sounded tired, almost exasperated.
"Building a new life."
"As a professional witness? Not really your style. You hate cops."
"Perhaps I gain some satisfaction from helping cage the monsters I've worked with for years."
"Some people would group you with them."
He got up, and moved so he was sitting beside her. He leaned close. "Aye, some. But not you."
"Don't make this harder than it needs to be, Ian." She pled.
"It doesn't need to be hard, Love."
Six months later
Emily yawned as they drove to the safe house, up through the frozen forests of Maine. They'd put him so out in the middle of nowhere, no one would find him. Even though this was their third trip out, it was taking all her skills as a navigator to make sure she didn't steer Clyde in the wrong direction. It didn't help that everything even remotely familiar was covered in two feet of snow.
Clyde wasn't happy with the arrangement, not by a long shot, but he'd finally stopped glaring at her. The disappointed looks also seemed to be vanishing from his eyes, and those were worse than the glaring. Tsia thought she was nuts, but had given up trying to talk sense into her. Emily had never been close with Jeremy, so he kept his feelings to himself, and Sean…he'd had much the same reaction as Clyde, though shorter lasting. Fortunately, most of her work was limited to working with her team; working with other agents could get tricky.
Those familiar with their team and her, had heard of their relationship through the grapevine, and most viewed her now with barely contained disgust. That could be difficult to deal with, especially when they were eyeing her with scorn from across the room. For that reason, Clyde made sure to assign the others to liaise with their colleagues if it was necessary.
"The left should be coming up, so slow down," she instructed.
At this moment, across the Atlantic, their team members along with Gardaíand MI5 were in Moira were storming the home of Seamus Ronan. With Ian Doyle's help they'd amassed enough intelligence on the man to get a warrant and stage a plan of attack. Where normally, she might be bummed to be missing the action, she found herself rather unbothered by it today.
"This one?" Clyde asked, gesturing to a barely visible turn-off.
Emily squinted and studied the area. "That's it."
For the next two weeks, they'd be guests at Doyle's safe house, working on developing intel on their next target. Gerard LaCoix, a native of Chad, and a warlord. Ian had brokered a weapons deal with the man, a favor for a client for whom he'd done some freelancing work. Not his usual job, but one that paid the bills.
"How long to do plan on carrying on with him?" Clyde asked, steering the car through the long, winding driveway.
"Until one of us decides it's not working, I guess."
One of Doyle's conditions had been that they were allowed to date without any repercussions coming down on her. Clyde had flat out refused at first, nearly coming to blows with the other man. Sean looked like he might have too. Tsia had just appeared exasperated.
Emily had tried to melt into the floor.
"You realize you've lost your mind, right?" He glanced at her, then back to the road.
"Yep. I'm well aware," she said.
Clyde smirked then. "So long as you're aware."
She gave him a smile as they pulled up to the large log cabin. It appeared rugged on the outside, but was rather homey on the inside. They grabbed their bags and headed to the door, Emily hitting the bell. They heard a scurry of eager feet, and then the door was pulled open.
Declan lunged at her, nearly knocking her down. "Emily!"
She wrapped her arms around him, and held him tightly. Rather than explain everything to him, they'd simply told Declan that it was her new name. Like Michael and Connor were their new names.
"Hey sweetie. Where's your Dad? Shouldn't he answer the door?" She maneuvered the boy inside as she talked.
"Right here, Love." He appeared from the stairs, smiling, and walked over to hug her and peck her lips.
Emily had instituted the rule of limiting PDA in front of Clyde and the others, because the relationship bothered the hell out of them. Ian honored it, but she knew with in 15 minutes, he'd have cornered her in some empty area of the house and be kissing her senseless. She was looking forward to it.
"You got Seamus then?" He asked, fingers entwining with hers.
Clyde nodded. "They're arresting him as we speak."
He'd settled into his life here fairly well, and had found a job teaching weapons at the nearby state police training facility. It suited him well. They weren't the warriors he'd envisioned raising, but it was as close as he was ever going to get. And, he actually seemed to get some satisfaction from doling out information to them, and helping them bring people like Seamus Ronan down.
It was quite possibly the most bizarre arrangement in Interpol history, and likely destroyed any chance she had of advancing in any law enforcement agency, but Emily didn't regret it. Not yet anyway.
"Can I show her now?" Declan piped up, voice excited as he grabbed her free hand.
Ian nodded. "He made something for you."
Emily nodded and followed the little boy, who tugged her eagerly toward his bedroom. Of all the outcomes she'd envisioned for the son of Ian Doyle, this wasn't one she'd imagined.
Declan dragged her over and brought her a wooden picture frame that appeared to be painted by his own hand. It was a mess of blue, green, purple and red, but he looked so proud, she made a huge deal over it.
Sensing eyes on her, Emily turned to see Ian leaning against the doorframe, looking surprisingly content with his current situation. Out of all the outcomes she'd envisioned when she began this assignment, this one wasn't even in the realm of possibility.
But there they were.
That's it, this one is done. I probably won't get to the next Prentiss/Doyle story the third or fourth week in March, but that one will also be chaptered (and it will have Prentiss/Doyle offspring). Thanks very much for reading, and thank you so much to everyone who's reviewed this story, especially the last chapter. That really made my day. :)
Gardaí is the short name for Garda Síochána na hÉireann (Guardians of the Peace of Ireland), the Irish police force. I figured the British would want in on a bust that big as well, so I threw MI5 in there, which I believe is the British equivalent of the FBI.
Also, I'm running a contest on my blog this week, you can win either: a critique of one of your stories or you can prompt me. Link is in my profile, and rules are on the blog.