AN: So sorry this took so long. Stuff got in the way and I kinda lost track of this one but I'm back on it for now. Though, after this I'll be picking a different story to update so that you all can enjoy this one before I overload you with another chapter. Hoep you enjoy it!
Gatekeeper and Oracle had been working around the clock for days as they ran the usual forensic sweeps over the letters that had been dropped off by their client's agent and made a priority by their boss Emily Prentiss.
They were checking for fingerprints and DNA and anything else they could use to identify the stalker. So far the guy had been careful but they knew that sooner or later, he'd slip up and they would catch him. It was only a matter of time.
It was about an hour before lunchtime and Emily was sitting on Jennifer's deck while the blond actress took advantage of her day off and swam laps in the pool. Henry was at school and Carrie was out for the day. They were alone, with the exception of Myka and Lindsey, who were patrolling the perimeter. Derek and David would be there later to relieve them for the night shift.
Emily kept an eye on the surrounding area as she picked up her cell phone and dialed David Rossi's direct line at the BAU. She knew Derek had been right about calling in their former co-workers. She didn't need a profile but she was going to need some 'official' backup when they caught the guy. Emily hated it when she had to acknowledge that she didn't have the authority anymore to arrest the bad guys. Emily kept a careful eye on Jennifer's progress through the water as she waited for Rossi to pick up his phone.
"Rossi." Emily smiled at the familiar voice of the older man who had, at one point, been almost a surrogate father figure to her.
"Rossi, it's Emily, how are you?" Emily decided to start with some small talk before she leapt right into the asking for a favor part of the conversation.
David Rossi grinned when he heard Emily's voice. He had missed her and Derek ever since they left the BAU. "I'm fine Emily. We just got back from Colorado yesterday and so far it looks like we've been given a bit of a break. What's new?"
Emily was glad that it looked like the team would be free to help her out. "I have a stalker out here in La La Land that is proving a bit elusive. I was wondering if I could talk you, Gideon and Reid into coming out here to help me out for a bit."
"You're calling in profilers?" Rossi's voice was tinged with a bit of incredulity. Emily almost never asked for their help with a case, mostly because she was such a great profiler that she never really needed their help. "Are you losing your touch there Emily?" He liked teasing the younger former agent.
Emily just grinned as her eyes continued to track Jennifer through her laps. "Nothing like that old man, it's not a profiler thing. I was remembering that I don't have any official authority to arrest anyone and I could use the federal muscle when I catch this guy." Emily lowered her tone a bit as she explained, "he threatened my client's son Rossi...you know how Derek is about kids being threatened or hurt. I don't want to have to bail him out of jail if he goes off when we catch this guy. I figure if you're all there, he'll control himself, you know what I mean?"
Rossi nodded to himself, he remembered how Derek was about the kids. Derek's own painful past gave him insight into crimes involving children and obsessive disorders, but his temper was always on a hair trigger when kids got involved. "Yeah I remember. When would you need us there?"
"The sooner the better. I have my techs working their science magic so it's only a matter of time."
David looked at his calendar and then he said, "Well, I'm in. I'll talk to the others and as long as another case doesn't come in, we'll probably be there by tomorrow afternoon, sound good?"
Emily smiled, "That sounds perfect. Thanks Rossi. See you tomorrow."
They hung up and Emily put her phone aside. She took a moment to sweep her eyes over the grounds and she easily spotted Myka and Lindsey on opposite sides of the yard, watching the grounds and the perimeter. She smiled at their efficiency.
She didn't notice that Jennifer wasn't swimming anymore until she saw someone sit next to her at the small round table. She turned her head and had to swallow against a suddenly dry throat when she noticed that Jennifer was sitting there, water still clinging to her shoulders and her hair slicked back. The blue one-piece swimsuit she wore was modestly cut, but for some reason it looked positively illegal on the blonde's toned body. Jennifer was smiling, and if she hadn't been wearing sunglasses, Emily was certain her eyes would be sparkling as well. "Hi."
JJ looked at her bodyguard and for the hundredth time since they first met, she wished they had met some other way, so that she could be free to seduce the brunette without worrying about some stupid fan or Emily's rules about sleeping with her clients. Still, she smiled, determined to use this time with Emily as an opportunity to get to know the other woman before she found a way to get her into her bed. "Hey, who was that on the phone?"
Emily's eyes darted to the cell phone on the table before she looked back up at the blonde. "Just...an old friend."
JJ took that in and tried very hard not to pry or feel upset about the short answer. She nodded, "I see. Okay well...I was actually wondering if you wanted to take a dip in the pool? The water is perfect." JJ smiled sweetly at Emily.
Emily just shook her head, "Thanks Miss Jareau but I'm fine right where I am." Emily felt the need to put some distance between them right then, because just the sight of Jennifer in her swimsuit was enough to make her start questioning why she didn't sleep with clients.
JJ just sat back in her chair and looked around the yard. She easily spotted the other two ladies on Emily's team as they walked around the edge of the yard. Then she turned her gaze back to Emily, "Hey um, do you know what time it is?"
Emily picked up her phone again and checked the time, "It's 12:02, why?"
JJ smiled, "I knew there was a reason my stomach was growling. It's lunchtime. I'm going to go inside and make something. Why don't you call Myka and Lindsey inside so they can have some too?" JJ stood up then and began to walk towards the glass doors that led to the kitchen.
Emily reached out and grabbed her wrist before she could get too far, "They can't leave their posts, and you know that Miss Jareau. Just go on inside and make your lunch, I'll deal with my people."
Emily let go of her wrist then and watched as Jennifer walked into the house. She sat there for a moment, thinking about all the ways her current client was going to be the death of her.
After about a minute, Emily stood up and entered the house, determined to keep the blond in her sights, despite the safety of the house. She refused to admit, even to herself, that she just wanted to be in the other woman's presence.
Emily walked into the kitchen and noticed that Jennifer was still wearing her swimsuit but she had wrapped a silky sarong around her waist. It looked perfect on her and Emily mentally shook herself to stop the NC-17 rated images that were running through her head at that moment.
JJ, for her part, was trying very hard to act normal. She felt Emily's eyes on her the entire time she was preparing her lunch. She made a few sandwiches, mostly from the large packs of cold cuts she kept in the fridge. Despite what Emily had said earlier, JJ made enough sandwiches for both herself and Emily as well as Myka and Lindsey. She wanted to do something nice for them since they were out there all day in the LA heat.
The next day, Emily pulled Myka to cover for her at the studio with Jennifer and Ziva while she met with Rossi, Gideon, Reid and a new BAU agent, Alex Blake. Derek covered for Myka at the house with Lindsey. Blake was a linguistic expert and Rossi asked her to come along to help with the letters. Maybe she could glean something new from the writing that Emily and her team hadn't seen yet.
Emily welcomed Blake's insight and she left her in the lair with Gatekeeper and Oracle while she spoke with her former colleagues in the conference room.
Alex Blake sat in a chair in the lair and looked at the two techs who were busy running tests and checking results. They looked like polar opposites but they worked as if they were one person. It frankly fascinated Alex and she took a moment to observe them before she turned her attention to the letters the stalker had sent so far.
After the first few letters, Alex looked up and said to the woman, "Um, Gatekeeper?"
Abby turned to face the visiting agent and smiled, she may not like change, but she was willing to work with someone who might help them catch this guy. "Yes Agent Blake?"
Alex smiled, glad she'd gotten the name right, "can you find out for me what Miss Jareau's travel schedule has been for the last 18 months?"
Abby frowned, "Sure, but why?"
"These letters, the linguistic style of them suggests someone who was raised in the deep south of the United States. Certain key phrases keep appearing that are really only used in places like Georgia, Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi. I want to know if she's been to any of those places recently."
Abby nodded, "Oh, okay. Sure just give me a few minutes." Abby turned back to her computers and began typing away as she searched for the information Blake had asked her for.
Meanwhile, Kevin was in his own world as he kept an eye on the computer screens that were running the few partial fingerprints they'd managed to lift from the letters through every database in existence that wasn't classified by Homeland Security.
After a few moments, Abby turned to Blake, "Okay, it turns out Miss Jareau hasn't gone out of town in the last 18 months, however, she was in New Orleans about three years ago filming a movie."
Alex began sorting through the letters and the envelopes for a moment until she found the one that was postmarked October of 2008. It seemed to be the earliest letter and Alex did a quick calculation. "Okay, that's something. The letters started in October of 2008 from what I can tell, so that means the stalker must've encountered her when she was in town. Can you find out if anyone moved from Louisiana to California around that time?"
Abby grinned, "Actually, Oracle is better at that kind of search. Hey Kevin, a little help?"
Kevin, who had been following the conversation while he monitored the print runs, turned to Abby and grinned, "Monitor 4 Abby."
Abby turned to monitor 4 and smiled when she saw that Kevin had already run the search while she and Alex had been talking. She quickly printed out the five names and handed the sheet to Alex. "Five people. Four men and one woman. Now normally I'd rule out a female stalker but, given some of the things I've read in the letters, I am not going to discount the possibility of a female stalker. Take the list to the others and see if they can help narrow it down."
Alex took the list and smiled, "Thank you Abby, Kevin. I'll be back soon."
Alex left the lair and headed to the conference room. She knocked on the door before walking in and sitting down. "The techs managed to narrow down the list of possibles to these five people." She handed the list to Emily, knowing that the former agent was the uncontested leader on this case.
Emily took the list and studied it. "Well, I think we can rule out the woman. The profile reads male to me." Emily was about to hand the list to the others when the fourth one down caught her eye. It looked far too familiar.
Emily picked up the phone in the middle of the table and dialed the extension of the lair. Abby picked up on the second ring, "Gatekeeper of all Knowledge, talk to me."
Emily gave a small grin before she said, "Abby, I need you to give me everything you can find on William LaMontagne Jr. I think he's the stalker."
"You got it boss. I'll send it to the conference room as soon as I have it. Gatekeeper out."
Emily hung up the phone and looked at the others, "That name is familiar. We ran checks on everyone that works at the studio, the boy's school, the pool cleaning service, and the manager's office. Somewhere in that mess, is this guy's name."
Rossi, Reid and Gideon looked at each other then turned to Emily. Gideon was the first to speak, "Good to know you haven't lost your touch as a profiler. So we really are here just to provide legal backup huh?"
"Yeah. Thanks again by the way for coming down on such short notice."
The men all nodded, each knowing that Emily knew they would always be there for her and Derek.
A few minutes later, there was a beep followed by the big flat screen monitor turning on and all the information Emily requested on LaMontagne Jr popped up on screen. Emily looked up at the screen and began to read the information. She felt a chill run down her spine when she realized that LaMontagne was working at the studio where Jennifer filmed her show. He had access to her on an almost daily basis.
The room was silent for a moment before Reid turned to Emily and asked, "So...how do you want to handle this Emily?"
Emily turned to the younger agent and smiled when she saw the look of genuine concern on his face. She knew that he missed having her and Derek around in DC, but this was her new calling and she couldn't turn away from it. She also knew the BAU was Reid's calling and that he would never leave it.
She took a breath then said, "That's where this gets tricky."
The three men and Alex looked at Emily then, curious. It was Gideon that finally spoke up, "Because he hasn't done anything yet has he?"
Emily slowly shook her head, "Not yet."
There was a moment of silence before Alex Blake spoke up, "Then how are we going to arrest him?"
Because Jennifer's stalker hadn't done anything more than send a few letters, and there was still no definitive way to prove even that much, there was nothing they could arrest him for. Until he actually made a move, they couldn't do much except keep an eye on the situation and wait for him to make his move. It was frustrating as hell and Emily once again remembered why she hated law enforcement when it came to stalker cases. Often times, the cops couldn't intervene or really do much of anything until someone was hurt. By then, it was often too late anyway.
Emily looked around the room, trying to figure out a way around the law to stop this guy.
Rossi sat back from the table and looked at his friends before he turned to Emily. He knew it wouldn't be a popular plan but he didn't see any other way to get the job done, short of letting Derek loose on this LaMontagne guy, and that wasn't an option. He cleared his throat and said, "Have you considered the idea of drawing this guy out? Force him to make his move?"
Emily turned to the older agent, "how would you suggest we do that? He's been extremely patient so far."
Rossi shifted in his seat, looking down at the table as he suggested, "Maybe we need to...create an opportunity for this LaMontagne to act."
Emily looked at Rossi for a moment before she realized what he was saying, "Are you actually suggesting we use my client as bait for a stalker?"
Gideon chose that moment to speak up, having been content before to simply listen,
"Emily, it may be the only way to make a patient stalker act. And it's not like she wouldn't be well protected, we can work it so that he doesn't get close enough to her to actually harm her. Just close enough to give us a reason to arrest him."
Emily looked to Gideon and took a moment to think about what they were suggesting. It was possible but she was loathe to put Jennifer in harm's way. "Gentlemen, and Agent Blake, can you give me a few hours to think this through? The plan has merit but I need to make sure all the bases are covered and that Miss Jareau is up for it as well. I suggest we call it a day and meet back here tomorrow morning. By then, I'll have spoken with the client and also, hopefully, come up with a viable way to make this happen. I've arranged for rooms for you all at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. Please, enjoy yourselves and we'll meet back here tomorrow around 11am. Sound good?"
The FBI agents looked at each other then nodded in agreement. After a moment, they left the building and headed for their hotel.
Emily sat at the table for a moment, thinking about how she was going to ask Jennifer to be the bait in a trap for a psychotic stalker.
The next afternoon, Jennifer's living room was filled to capacity with her security team as well as four FBI agents and her sister Carrie. Henry, thankfully, was in his room playing with his Wii and wouldn't come downstairs until his mommy called him. She had told him the grown-ups needed to talk and he had to stay in his room until they were done. Even at seven years old, Henry seemed to understand how important this was so he agreed without fuss.
So now, Jennifer sat on the couch as she listened to Emily tell her about who she thought the stalker was and then outline a plan to draw him out and make him make a move. It sounded simple enough but she was a little scared that something would go wrong.
When Emily was done talking, a silence fell on the room and Jennifer took that moment to look right at the brunette and ask, "so what happens if he doesn't take the bait?"
Emily turned to glance at the FBI agents for a moment before she looked back at Jennifer and said, "I believe he will take the bait, if for no other reason than he's waited long enough to have you. I was a profiler for the FBI before I left and started Safe Haven. I know what's making this guy tick and right now, in his mind, he's waited far too long and as soon as the opportunity presents itself, he will act and he will make his move. He feels entitled to have you as his own and as patient as he's been, that patience is running fairly thin right now."
JJ nodded to herself as she absorbed what Emily was saying. She wanted to ask the others if they agreed with Emily's assessment but one look at the faces of everyone in the room and it was clear they did...even Carrie looked convinced.
"Okay then. Looks like I'm going to be the bait in the trap. How soon can we put this into motion?" JJ was determined to see this through now and hoped this plan would work. If it did, then maybe when the dust settled, she would have a chance to finally seduce her bodyguard.
Emily looked to Reid and smiled, "Provided Spencer is ready for his acting debut, we can do this as early as tomorrow. You ready Spencer?"
Dr. Spencer Reid didn't like being put on the spot but he had to admit, he liked being the linchpin in the plan. He looked over at the beautiful blonde actress and felt a blush creep up his neck. He knew he'd never stand a shot with someone so beautiful and so obviously out of his league but he couldn't help being attracted to her. He glanced over at Ziva, "As long as Ziva promises not to break anything, then yeah I'm ready."
Ziva smiled at the young agent/doctor. He was cute in a nerdish kind of way...he almost reminded her of McGee. She liked him, he had a baby bird vibe about him. "Do not worry Dr. Reid, I promise I won't break anything." She gave a short bow in his direction, a sign of respect in her country.
Reid nodded, "great."
Emily took control of the conversation again. "Good. Okay so everyone knows their roles, right?" All around the room there were nods and murmurs of agreement. Everyone in that room knew what to do and were eager to help JJ get rid of this stalker once and for all. "That settles it then. Derek, David I want you two on night patrol here. Everyone else, go home and get some sleep. Tomorrow's gonna be a big day. Reid, I need you to be in position no later than 10 am tomorrow okay?"
"You got it."
"Good. Until tomorrow then."
Everyone then stood up and left the house. Derek and David took the perimeter patrol for the night, knowing their roles tomorrow wouldn't start until 10 am and by that time, Myka and Lindsey will have already relieved them of their night patrol at 6am. They would have three hours or so to rest and prepare before they too got into position.
Nick and Liam would stay with Henry, the boy would be missing school tomorrow so they could stay at the house with him and Carrie while Rain and Sam backed Derek and David up on their assignment.
The FBI guys would have their own roles to play and Spencer Reid was going to be at the center of it all.
Pretty soon, the only ones in the house were Jennifer, Carrie, Henry and Emily who would be sleeping in the living room again to make sure any perimeter breaches didn't get past her.
The house went dark and soon they were all asleep, or in Emily's case, silently brooding on the couch about all the things that could go wrong tomorrow and all the ways she would prevent each possible mistake from happening.
He noticed two extra cars leaving her driveway tonight. She must've had a party or something. He smiled to himself as he thought about the kind of party he wanted to have with her...and it wouldn't involve no one but the two of them.
He chuckled low in his throat as he thought about her and all the ways he would take her in that house once he made his move and she was his.
After a few more minutes, the house went dark and he waited a moment before he pulled away from the curb and drove back to the trailer park. Soon...soon she would be his and he would have everything he's been wanting for the last three years. Nothing and no one was going to stand in his way.