A/N: This is another story I wrote a long time ago, but never finished. I have a couple of chapters already written. I don't know how much time will be between updates, but I will never leave a story unfinished.

I don't own criminal minds!


"It is often in the darkest skies that we see the brightest stars."

~ Richard Evans


Chapter 1: Where it begins

Nerves filled JJ's entire body as she walked around the corner of the street. She was in a typical suburban neighborhood. It wasn't like she really knew what the neighborhoods looked like in DC. She grew up in a small town and never really left. This was the second time she was in DC. The first time was to visit her aunt and uncle, but this time everything was different. Her life had changed dramatically. The only way to survive was to leave behind everything she knew. Her identity, her family and her friends. She had to start over in order to live without fear. Although she knew fear would always be right around the corner. She was already looking over her shoulder, checking if he wasn't standing right behind her. Luckily, she was in a big city where she wouldn't be found easily. She never planned to leave, but two days ago everything spiraled out of control.

''Hello. Can I help you with something, sweetie?'' a female voice called out.

JJ almost jumped when she heard the voice. Her thoughts had taken over her senses. She forced herself to calm down as she looked up the at the middle-aged woman who was getting her mail. ''Hi.'' JJ greeted back. ''Do you know where the Hotchner family lives?'' JJ asked politely.

''Of course,'' she said, stepping towards JJ and extending her hand. ''I am Lilly Adams.''

''It's nice to meet you, Ma'am.''

''Oh call me Lilly, dear. It makes me feel old when people call me Ma'am.'' Lilly corrected kindly. ''What's your name, dear?''

Her name was easy. Jennifer Jareau, of course. But she didn't want anyone to find her. What was she supposed to say. It had to be an easy name. Something acceptable and short. ''I'm JJ.'' she said, not knowing where that came from. It actually sounded great. Everyone always called her Jen or Jenny. She hated it more than anything.

''What an unusual name.'' Lilly responded with a smile on her face. ''The Hotchner's lives right next to us.'' she said, pointing to the house on the left.

JJ looked up at the house. The house was a beautiful sight. It gave a feeling of calmness in general to anyone who passed by. ''Thank you, Lilly.'' JJ said as she made her way up the driveway of the home where she had her appointment.

She passed a massive black car. She knew it was called a SUV or something. Growing up she wasn't used any kind of luxury, and the life in a small town didn't really offer much. So a massive car was new to her. She slowly passed it by and made her way to the front door. She stopped and glanced at Lilly who gave her an encouraging nod before she entered her own home. JJ finally rang the doorbell. She looked down at her outfit. It only consisted out of a jeans shorts and a purple tank top. She hoped she didn't look like a stray, when in reality she was one.

The door opened and a little boy appeared in the doorway. He had sandy brown hair and big brown eyes. He was probably around six years old. He looked quit shy, but a small laugh showed on his face.

''Hi!'' JJ greeted sweetly. ''Is your dad home?''

Hotch overheard a female voice from the living room. He suddenly realized that Jack had opened the door to his home. He quickly stood up from the couch. ''Jack, I told you to never open the door unless I am with you.'' Hotch said as she stepped next to his son.

Jack looked up at his father. ''I'm sorry, daddy.'' Jack apologized innocently.

''It's fine, buddy. You can go and watch TV, okay?''

''Yeah!'' Jack exclaimed and he disappeared into the living room.

Hotch turned his attention to the guest who was standing on the other side of the door. His eyes traced along the girl's long bare legs and ended at her eyes. She had the kindest beautiful cerulean blue eyes he had ever seen. Her long blonde hair fell over her shoulders and the wind lifted it up every few seconds.

''Hello,'' Hotch greeted. ''Do we have an appointment?''

JJ looked at the man in the suit. He was actually very handsome and he seemed to be very kind. ''Yes, I'm here to interview for the nanny job.'' she explained.

''Of course. Come in.'' Hotch said as he stepped aside to let her inside. He closed the door behind them and waited for JJ to turn towards him. ''I'm Aaron Hotchner.'' he introduced.

''I'm JJ.'' she said, shaking his hand as they made the introductions. ''You have a lovely home, sir.''

Her hand was warm and soft. He was suddenly aware of how long it had been since he touched a woman. ''Thank you.'' Hotch said as he took a step backwards. ''Let's go into the kitchen.'' he suggested.

JJ followed Hotch into the kitchen and waited for him to invite her to sit down. When he did, she nervously took a seat across from him. The house was beautiful and Hotch looked like a reasonable man to work for.

''Would you mind if I ask you a couple of questions?'' Hotch asked before he started grilling the blonde in front of him. When it came to Jack, he was overly protective. He had to be in his line of work.

JJ looked the older man in the eye. ''Ask away.''

''I would like to know why you're interested in this job. Where are you from? What do you want to do in DC? How old are you?'' he summed up, seeing the smile appear on JJ's face.

JJ expected to be asked questions. She had prepared an entire story that sounded honest enough. ''I'm from Brentwood.'' she lied. She could see in Hotch's expression that he had no idea where that was. ''It's a small town near Pittsburgh.''

''What is a small town girl looking for in DC?''

JJ sighed deeply before answering the question. ''I am looking for something new. I guess I was just tired of the familiar. I've never really done anything for myself before and I hope this city might give me a chance to find what I am looking for.'' she explained shortly. That was all true. She was looking for a fresh start. A new life no matter what it would turn out to be. Nothing could be worse than her old life. ''And I am twenty-four years old.''

''That's a great age.'' Hotch said awkwardly. He had no idea where that comment came from. It sounded better in his head. ''Sorry, that was a stupid remark.''

''Oh, it's fine.'' JJ replied quickly. ''What else do you want to know?''

''When can you start?''

''What? Really?'' JJ asked in shock. She didn't expect it to be so easy. ''Are you sure?''

Hotch nodded with a smile. ''You seem like a trustworthy girl and I really need to someone to look after Jack.'' he began. ''My job is demanding and I will be gone most of the week. But I will make sure you will have the weekends to yourself. If I am not home Jack can stay with his aunt.''

JJ felt extremely comfortable and she felt like this was good for her. But as she listened to Hotch she wondered where Jack's mother was. She had seen the wedding ring on Hotch's finger but he never talked about his wife. ''What do you do?''

''I work for the FBI.'' Hotch answered simply.

JJ almost choked. She was running away and she ended up working for an FBI agent. It wasn't really smart, but she figured he couldn't find her here. She would be living under the radar.

''Are you okay?''

JJ coughed roughly. ''Yeah,'' she answered.

''I'll show you your room.'' Hotch hinted as he rose from his chair. He waited for JJ to stand up and follow him back to the hallway. His house was quit big and there was more than enough room for JJ to stay. The house had three bedrooms and a office where he worked when he was home. He decided to give JJ the downstairs bedroom with the separate bathroom. He opened the door to the bedroom and let JJ step inside.

''This is it.'' he announced.

JJ stepped inside the bedroom and she was actually shocked. It was big for her standards and it was fully furnished. It had everything she could imagine.

''Do you like it?''

JJ turned around. ''Like it? More like, love it!'' she exclaimed excitedly.

Hotch was smiling for the first time in months. He watched as JJ walked through the entire room. ''I guess you really are a small town girl.''

''Yes, I am.'' she agreed happily. ''This is perfect, sir.''

''Good and please call me Aaron.'' he suggested. ''I'm not that old you know.'' he joked.

JJ thought he was being serious. ''Oh, I didn't mean to imply that you were.'' she apologized.

''It's fine, JJ. I was just joking.''

''Thank god.'' she sighed out. ''When do you want me to start?''

''Can you start tomorrow morning?'' he asked.

''Of course. I just need to get my stuff from the hotel where I am staying.'' she told him quickly.

''Let me drive you. I think it's best if you're here tonight so you can get acquainted with Jack.''

His kindness warmed her heart. It had been ages since someone had been so nice to her. ''Are you sure?'' she asked for reassurance.

''Yeah, it'll be fine. I will ask my neighbor if she can watch Jack for an hour or so.'' he said to her. Hotch watched as JJ retreated back to the living room where she sat down on the couch next to Jack. It seemed like she was already feeling at home.