So I am very sad that the last chapter didn't get any reviews! :( But it did get more alerts, so that is a good thing! Please let me know what you think of this chapter! I have one more week before I start school again so I will not be able to update a whole lot but the plan is once a week. Enjoy.

Chapter Three

Dwelling on Misfortunes of the Past


Emily picked up the coffee pot to pour herself a cup of the steaming liquid before the jet took off. But as she began to tilt the pot, a blazing pain shot through her arm and she cursed under her breath as coffee spilled on the small counter and she slammed the coffee pot down.

JJ was at her side in a second. "Hey, are you alright?"

"Yeah, yeah, I'm fine." Prentiss muttered as she quickly cleaned up the coffee.

"It's your shoulder, isn't it?"

Prentiss tried to hide a grimace as she curled her fingers round the handle of the mug, which was only half full of coffee, tightening her muscles and hoping the pain would ease. "It'll be fine in a minute."

"You're not cleared for duty are you?" JJ asked, lowering her voice.

"Hotch is taking care of it. I'm okay, really."

"Emily, you shouldn't even be on this plane. You should be home, resting." JJ's eyes filled with concern. "We can handle this case without you. We'll nail the guy."

Prentiss looked behind JJ and saw Morgan watching their interaction closely; making no move to conceal his prying gaze. "JJ, you know I love you and yeah, I shouldn't even be on this case. But I need this."

JJ looked at her friend; her words needed no explanation. "Then promise me the minute you're shoulder hurts or if everything gets to be too much, you tell me, alright?"

"You'll be the third to know."

JJ looked at her, raising an eyebrow in question.

"Hotch already talked to me and Garcia lectured me before I could even get my go bag." The two women smiled at each other knowingly.

"If that's the best I'll get, then I'll take it."


My stomach churned as we descended once again into Post Falls, Idaho. I knew I shouldn't be nervous, after all I was flanked by one of the best behavior analysis teams in the world, why would there be a need to worry?

Putting aside the fact that the last man we dealt with, whom showed many similarities to the man we were now hunting, had put a knife in my shoulder, wounded another agent and killed six women brutally.

If it weren't for those 'minor' details, I would be thrilled to be back on a case. But all of those things over shadowed any excitement I had in me. This wasn't the happy return I'd hoped for.

And even though this new UnSub had no relation to me, I couldn't help but feel this was personal. He was targeting the same type of woman and executing the same malicious details in their deaths. And we had no solid evidence as to who or why.

I looked out the window of the jet, clenching my jaw tight as the pain still pounded in my shoulder. I knew it would go away soon but this time it was more intense than it had been in weeks, and it wasn't dissipating as quickly as it normally would.

I knew it was from the stress. My muscles were tight and my body longed for a good night's sleep, or at least one not plagued with vivid dreams that turned to heart pounding nightmares, leaving me waking up in a cold sweat and tangled in sheets.

I couldn't even remember my last full night of sleep.

And that was what worried me the most; more so than any lingering pain or unhealed wound. The fact that my ability to compartmentalize was slowly fading. No longer could I drown out the screams or forget the bloody images of past victims when I went home at night.

I used to be able to leave work at work, only occasionally being haunted in the safety of my own home. But since Doyle, the shadows followed me everywhere. I wouldn't call it being paranoid, just more overly cautions.

Gun always on my night stand, next to a fully charged cell phone and, in case the gun jammed, a baseball bat, all within arm's reach. Some might see it as a desperate cry for help, but I saw it as being prepared and no one could blame me for that.

I watched as we slowly broke through the clouds and the beautiful scenery of Post Falls came into clear view. It was true; looks can be deceiving.

It was a decent size town just by the border of Idaho and Washington, close to Coeur d'Alene Lake and national forest. These three factors made it almost an ideal hunting ground for serial killers. In twenty minutes, you could be in a different state; a body is much harder to find at the bottom of a fifty square mile lake; and take a hike in any direction and you could be completely cut off from civilization in a mere matter of hours.

But my mind drifted to Rathdrum, a small town twenty minutes away, where I'd come face to face with Benjamin Chandler, alone in an ally with a knife and a gun.

If I thought about it enough I could even feel the blade slicing through my skin and that memory would take me back to the wooden stake driven into my stomach, and my mind reeled with memories I wished to forget.

"'Life is thickly sown with thorns, and I know no other remedy than to pass quickly through them. The longer we dwell on misfortunes, the greater is their power to harm us.'"

Rossi's smooth voice broke through my haze of thoughts. I hadn't even realized he had taken the seat across from me. I quickly recovered from my reminiscing and let a small smile cross my lips.

"'In his bright Paradise above, to heaven again, dear Gabriel, go, my zeal for you shall still o'erflow; to the empyrean then repair; without my love I'd not go there.' François-Marie Arouet de Voltaire."

"Ah the last lines of 'Azolan.'" Rossi said, nodding his head and leaning back deeper in the seat.

I smiled. "When my mother was stationed in Rome, I convinced her to let us spend a week in Paris. That is where I learned of my love for Voltaire."

He looked me in the eye. "He's right you know."

I turned to him, becoming serious. "About what?"

"The longer we dwell on misfortunes or things of the past, the more they take control of us."

"What happened to not profiling each other?" I muttered softly, breaking eye contact. Afraid that if I kept looking into his deep brown eyes any longer that I would be crying in his arms like an emotional child who was afraid of the monsters under the bed.

Rossi leaned forward so I had no choice but to turn and face him. "I don't need to be a profiler to see what's going on with you, Emily."

I sighed and bit my lip. I knew he was right, and it just gave me more proof to the fact that I really was slipping. Soon enough I'd fall through the cracks and become another broken body, destined for a life full of haunting shadows.

"We won't let anything happen to you."

The lump in my throat rose and I took in a shaking breath, fighting of the emotions that seemed to creep up on me out of nowhere. I wasn't the type of girl to get emotional. Things bothered me, but it was never hard to keep them locked in until I was in the comfort of my own bed with the lights turned out, where I could cry myself to sleep and no one would be the wiser.

But now, sitting there, the softness of Dave's voice, the way he looked into my eyes, how I knew he meant the words he said, even when we both knew it was a promise that no one could keep; I found myself fighting to keep the tears in.

"I know…" My voice was shaky and I struggled to keep it level. "I just…It's been a bad year."

A melancholy smiled crossed his lips and he reached out and squeezed my hand. "That, my dear, would be an understatement."

He squeezed my hand once more before releasing it and settling back into his chair. I watched him as he turned and looked out the small window.

I longed for the sureness that he held in his voice. I wanted to feel it wrap it's warmth around me. But as we made our decent into Post Falls, sureness was the farthest thing from my mind.

Instead a cold wave of unrest and turmoil settled over me. And I felt my breathe hitch as the wheels touched down. Here we go again.


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