Hey there! It's me and ijustwantyoutoknow co-writing another Criminal Minds story.
Warning: There are S&M related themes, but nothing graphic or explicit. The rating is probably a high T, just let us know if you want us to change it.
We do not own Criminal Minds
Derek carried the cake out of his mom's kitchen and set it in front of Desiree.
"Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday dear Desiree, happy birthday to you!"
Derek put his hand on her shoulder as she blew out the candles, "Happy 34th Desi," He smiled as he looked around the table at his family.
For the first time in 8 years his cousin, Cindi, was sitting across the table from him. On one side of her was her mom, and on the other, her little boy Anthony.
Slices of cake were passed around, and Anthony, no longer shy around his new family, grabbed for a piece.
"Happy Birthday Aunty!" He grinned showing his teeth.
"Thank you Anthony," Desiree smiled at the new addition to their family.
"Don't forget to use your fork," Cindi reminded him gently as he dug in for a bite.
Morgan smiled at his little nephew who carefully picked up each piece of cake and balanced it on top of his fork before shoving it into his mouth.
As the rest of the family finished eating their cake, Morgan pulled his aunt aside into the kitchen.
"Hey Aunty, how's Cindi been doin'?"
"She's doin' better. She's been seeing a therapist every week, and that's doin' her good," His aunt explained in a hushed tone.
Morgan nodded slowly, "How's she adjusting to having Anthony around all the time?"
"She's had to work with her therapist on disciplining him when he's naughty. The first few weeks she was still acting..."
"Yeah... but she's doin' better now. Anthony's a fine young boy."
"Well, you never get over something like that, but it does get better," Derek agreed.
Then the door burst open, "Uncle Derek! Come play catch with me!" Anthony ran over to his uncle and tugged on his hand.
"You go outside and grab the gloves, I'll be there in a minute, Buddy," Morgan promised.
"Okay!" Anthony turned around and ran out of the kitchen and into the front yard.
"You call me if you need anything, kay Aunty?" Morgan said.
"I will, thank you Derek, for everything."
"How's school goin'?" Morgan asked as he tossed the ball to Anthony.
"Good! I can read books all by myself... mostly." He missed the ball and ran after it as Morgan laughed.
"What grade are you in now?" Morgan asked as he came back, "7th? Or is it 12th?"
"No Uncle Derek, I'm not old!"
"Old? Who ya calling old?" Derek mocked offense.
Anthony thought about this for a moment, "Aunty Sarah is old." He grinned and laughed.
"Now that's what I like to hear."
The front door opened and Cindi walked outside. "Anthony, I think grandma needs help with the dishes."
"But I was playing with Uncle Derek!" He whined.
"He'll be here when you're done, but right now you need to go help clean up," She held the door open for him and he whined again, but nonetheless went in.
When Anthony was gone, Cindi walked into the yard, "Hey Derek."
"Hey Cindi, what's up?"
"I gotta talk to you about something."
"Okay," Morgan nodded, "wanna walk?"
Cindi nodded and they started down the street together.
After walking in silence for a few minutes, Morgan spoke, "Something on your mind Cin?"
"I didn't tell you everything I knew about The Company," She looked at the ground as she spoke.
"Can you tell me now?" Morgan cast her a worried look.
"You didn't find all of them. The people at The Cabin were just the beginning. You know the contract? The one he made me sign? Well I wasn't the only one... there were others who didn't know it was a game. They didn't think it was a game because... Derek, The Company is real."
"What are you talking about Cindi? I know Malcolm made you think that, and you probably felt like it was-"
"No," She cut him off, "this is no game, Derek. The thing, about how they can trade women and kill them and their families if they try to escape? That part's real, I've seen it happen."
"You mean you've seen them trading women?"
"Yes Derek. It was in a dark room, I was only brought there twice. Each time Malcolm threatened that he could trade me whenever he wanted. He never did trade me, but I've seen others. They're treated as slaves, just like I was."
"Do you know where he took you?" Derek asked.
"No. It was always dark. But I know a name. Malcolm would talk to him while they were there. It was Calvin Shoe. His... wife... her name was Susanne."
"She disobeyed him, tried to escape, and he shot her."
"Cindi, why didn't you tell me about this earlier?" Morgan asked as he turned to look at his cousin.
"I was scared Derek. I had just gotten out, I didn't want to have to go back, I just wanted Anthony away from all of it," Cindi started to choke up.
"It's okay Cin," Derek stopped and put his hand on her shoulder.
"No it's not Derek, I could've helped those women. Some of them were treated even worse than I was. The men, they took S&M to the extreme."
"I know Cindi, but you're helping them now," He smiled sadly at her.
They turned around and headed back to the house. When they got to the front yard Anthony was standing there expectantly with the gloves in his hand.
"Come on Uncle Derek!" He pushed a glove towards Morgan.
"Just give me another minute Buddy, I've got to make an important call, but then we can play," Morgan promised again, and had to look away when he saw the disappointment in Anthony's eyes.
Morgan walked into the garage and pulled out his cell phone.
"Hotchner," Hotch answered on the other line.
"Hey Hotch, it's Morgan. You guys've gotta come to Chicago. This case isn't over, man."