Thank you to Guest Reviewer CountryGirl , you're not a pain in the you know where! and please speak your mind! After all that's what reviews are for!
Thanks especially to my Beta - Magpie of Silver - You are awesome! this would not have looked good without your magic touch! Thank you, Mags!
INTERPOL Intrigue / Spooks Beguiled – Chapter 19
Four hours later, the bomb squad found the bomb inside Emily's apartment. It was a slightly comical situation made so by Sergio's incessant meowing as he was not permitted to be reunited with his owner on the other side of the apartment.
Old Mrs. Gromette, elderly neighbor came by in an extreme nervous state, "My dear, what is going on?"
Emily who as sitting on the steps stood up as soon as she saw the old lady, "It's just a silly little prank someone played, no worries, Mrs. Gromette."
She nodded, "Well then, where is that little boy of mine?" She referred to Sergio.
"Oh, he's in the apartment…doing a little…er…time out."
"Time out? What ever for?"
"Um…oh, he got into my trash and made an utter mess."
"Oh dear, he is such a bad boy…well, I'm going back to my place... I'll see you later." She then shuffled back to her apartment.
Then she stood up as she saw Lucas came out of her apartment with a fire chief, "All clear. You should be able to go back in, Agent Prentiss." After shaking her hand, he left.
Lucas was holding Sergio and he handed him to Emily.
"Hey handsome…come here." She began patting him as he purred loudly.
"Oleg was definitely here." Lucas held out an item to her. Emily picked it up and saw a calling card, it was plain with an picture of the Kremlin capital building with its onion dome.
"Not very original." She said as she looked at him. She then crumpled the card in her hand.
He walked with her into her apartment and she let her cat down, Sergio walked away from them.
Emily did a walk about her apartment and saw that nothing was missing or added. He watched her as she came back and said, "Everything looks good."
"Do you want me to stay with you tonight?" He asked.
Emily turned to look at him, "No, I'm fine…not unless you want to. I'm fine, really Lucas. I'm not so easily scared."
"I see." He said subtly.
She nodded. "You forget I have a warrior cat for protection." She pointed at her cat who was now lying on the floor between them.
"Then I'll see you some time? Just watch out for them?"
She nodded again as he came over and kissed her deeply before letting go reluctantly and left her, before he reminded her to lock her doors.
Emily leaned against the main door after bolting the latches and thought for a while; what an evening!
She was almost blown up! A warning from people from Russia who were pissed about their interference with Syria and Russia failed arms dealings. Great, there would be retributions; these Russians were really pissed.
Straightening from the door, she went to her laptop and realized she had forgotten about her rendezvous with JJ and Garcia.
But she had something much more important; turning her equipment on, she also got on her cell phone and called her father. Time to play hard ball. Later, she would get in contact with Clyde, and tomorrow she'd meet with her team.
It was past midnight, but she was far from sleepy. Tonight's events had kicked up her adrenaline.
"Prentiss," Her father came on the line.
"Daddy, its Emily."
"Hey, Poppet…is everything okay?" her father picked up on the change in her voice.
"Not quite…I need some information." She quickly told her father what happened this evening.
"Oh, my god! Emily! I want to assign…"
"No, Daddy, I don't need bodyguards," she cut her father. "That's not why I called you about. I need intel. Russian prison intel."
"I…I will see what I do. Give me a day my dear but you know your mother…"
"No Daddy, I don't want to get mother involve in this. This is not her. This is actually your battlefield."
"Mine?" James was puzzled.
"Yes, we interrupted and stopped the Syrians' talks with Russians. You friend Raad's son was the point of contact and now he is dead. They want another POC, and they want Lucas to be their man."
"Oh no. Poppet…I…this is not supposed to be…"
"I know. Find out about this Oleg Darshavin, he used to work in the Russian prison for many years. And an Elizabeta Starkova."
"Who are they?"
"I'm not sure, Daddy but please find out. I'll get in touch in a day or so."
"Take care, Poppet."
She ended her call and began to work on her laptop for the rest of the night.
Early the next morning, Emily was at her INTERPOL office.
She was using a secure phone and talking to Clyde Easter in France.
"I see you're in back in a cultured country, welcome back boss."
"You've been busy chéri! Needless to say Papa is thrilled with your mission accomplissement."
"Merci. Thanks but you know that it was a joint effort with MI-5."
"Ah yes -5. How's your boyfriend…and don't deny it. Three days together and nothing happened, and I'm the new Pope."
She laughed. "Clyde, you're anything but holy. The Vatican will busy bleaching their walls everyday if you're a pope. Ah!" she teased.
"Okay! Okay! Have your damn fun just because you're on a secure phone." But he sounded serious next, "just for your ears, your ears alone and between you and me. I haven't gotten laid in months, so I'm fucking horny, not to mention frustrated as hell."
It took a moment for it to sink in as Emily suddenly laughed.
"Oh come on, shut the hell up Em! It's not fucking funny! You're not a man, you don't know what damn hell I'm in. Piss on you!"
"I'm sorry, Clyde, I'm not feeling sorry for you at all."
"Great, just great. Anyways…let's get this shit over with. So I can find some hairy French chick."
Still chuckling, Emily told Clyde the latest about the Syrian/Russian deal and what they wanted Lucas to do.
"Hmm…that is out of our hands…-5 will be handling that. It's out of yours and mine jurisdiction."
"But it's International, which means…"
"I know…but North is involved which means -5 will take it. Sit back and get on with your work, Emily."
"What about this bomb plant in my apartment?"
"Well, that…is your warning to not interfere, darling."
"You're wrong." She told him who planted the bomb.
"Oh, I do hate making new friends, especially from the Bear family."
Emily couldn't help but giggle.
"Okay…listen…why don't you have a chat with Harry, and offer your assistance?" He suggested.
She smiled, "I'll do that... I'll just pop by over there later."
"Yeah, sounds like your new hang out place, how's your boyfriend?"
"Oh, he's great and he is very good…if you know what I mean." She grinned maliciously.
"Oh no, you don't dear, you know the state I'm in…you're just teasing me, shut it Em."
"Oh, no…you asked, Lucas is such a great guy, and so big…" She gushed lustily.
"OH FUCK YOU, Emily Prentiss!"
And he disconnected the secure line, leaving Emily laughing for a while.
She heard a beep in her cell phone and saw she had a text message; it was Sam;
How about lunch, Snow? Meet you at the forest.
It was their new name for the gym as it was decorated all in green.
She grinned; she did need some work out, what with all the food she had eaten recently.
Meet you at noon, doc. she sent back her reply.
Before she left for the gym, she called -5 and spoke with the secretary leaving a message that she would like to meet with Harry Pearce at 3pm.
She then worked on her files until lunch. When her secretary left promptly at noon, Emily also stopped working and began making her way to the INTERPOL gym and changed in the women's locker room.
Emily walked out to the large room of the gym made for the INTERPOL team's work regiment; there a few mats for workouts and even a ring for sparring, weights for trainings and climbing ropes that reached all the way to the ceiling.
Sam had designed the layout of the gym and his team had found that they liked it and three times a week if they were not on assignments, they would out here working out, even Fanta found a program he liked to work and fit in with his fellow team members.
After doing a series of warm-ups and stretches Sam had taught her, she went up to Sam and he assigned her a partner, Frankie, and they went to the another mat and began sparring free-hand.
Using what was taught at the FBI academy classes, Emily began use her hand as her shield and block Frankie's attack moves. He'd tried to go for her neck and she'd duck and swiped at his knees. Taking him down and immediately rolled away from her as she jumped on him only that she landed on an empty mat. She looked up a little too late and saw his hand coming at her as it connected the side of her head.
"Oaf!" her wind knocked out of her and she turned completely and rolled all the way around and caught her breath, saw him coming again and ducked again, just in time as he tried to smacked at her again only missing her by inches but she saw his move as she turned and using her elbow swung at him and hit his solar plexus, knocking the breath out of him.
"Ow!" He landed on his side as he clutched his sternum catching his breath.
"You okay, Frankie?" Emily was also breathing hard as she was on her knees, sweat pouring down her forehead.
"Good one, Emily." Sam grinned as he stood next to her.
She nodded, still trying to get her breath back.
"May I?" A voice came from behind Emily.
She turned around and saw Lucas and Ros Myers.
Emily straightened and looked at them, "Hello? Anything I can help?"
Lucas grinned at her as he was eyeing at her, "Not at all, Harry wants us to make sure you get to -5 in one piece. You are a HVT."
She frowned, "Since when am I a High Value Target?"
"Since last night when someone planted that bomb in your apartment," Lucas pointed out.
"Wait." Sam came over, in fact her whole team came over, Emily rolled her eyes. "What bomb?"
Emily explained to them about the bomb in her apartment, her team became upset, "Emily, you should have told us." Sam glared at her.
"I'm sorry Sam. I didn't think it was that bad. And hey, I'm still here." She tried to make light of the situation.
"No boss, this is serious shit." Sam continued but Bob held him back.
"Enough Sam," Emily said, her smile was gone. "We handled it. Besides, I have a job for you, and the rest of the team."
He nodded, "Sorry, Emily. It's just that this is no joke. We can't lose you…" He stopped and turned away.
Emily looked at Bob who shook his head, "He gets emotional, it's his time of the month I think…"
Emily smiled as did the rest of the group. Sam turned back around composed, "Damn it Emily, You mean a lot to us. Just don't do it again…okay?"
Emily patted his shoulder, "I promise, from now on, to keep you informed all the time, okay?"
She turned to Lucas, "Now, I seem to owe you a beat down, don't I?"
Lucas grinned as he removed his shirt, revealing his short sleeved tee. "I'm ready."
"Wait, Lucas. I want to have a go with Agent Prentiss." They all turned to Ros who took off her shoes and stepped onto the mat.
"Please, call me Emily, we're going to be well acquainted with each other so…"Emily didn't get to finish her sentence when Ros made the first move by smacking her across her jaw.
"Be nice to my girlfriend, Ros." Lucas smiled.
Ros arched her blonde brow at him, "Your girlfriend, huh?"
The INTERPOL guys aw'ed Emily just as just as Emily punched her back easily across her cheek, a red mark instantly appearing.
"Oops." Emily grinned when she saw it.
Ros returned her grin, "Oops indeed." And twisting her body to her right, she high kicked and knocked Emily off the mat with right foot.
Blocking the pain on her lower back, Emily rolled away from Ros and got her knees and blocked another incoming blow from Ros; for the next few minutes, Emily could not get any attack moves on Ros as she fired one blow after another one. But soon, she saw Ros slowly down as the blonde agent was tiring. And Emily had not even begun yet.
After the last kick which was not a strong kick at all, Emily knew Ros was giving out and she began on the offense and laid it out on her. Ros was doing her best to dodge Emily's blows as the table turned. Finally, Emily who was also exhausted gave one more blow to Ros but she managed to dodge from her as both women were breathing hard and they nodded their heads and grinned and said, "Pax." And shook hands.
The guys groaned and wished there was a winner but they clapped for the women.
Emily told Ros that they have spare clothes in the ladies' gym locker she could shower and changed.
Lucas nodded to Emily and Ros that he'd wait for them.
When Emily and Ros emerged from the shower and changed, Ros stopped her.
"Emily, I just want to tell you something about Lucas."
Emily looked at her.
"Lucas used to be one of the best officers in the field -5 ever had. Since his stay in Russia he has not been the same…."
"Ros, would you be, if you'd been tortured daily?" Emily looked at her.
"That's not what I mean. He's still good but not as sharp as he used to be. I'm not insulting him, I trust him because he's my partner and at the same time, as his partner I know. You used to work with a partner in the FBI, you'd know if he's off, right?"
Emily nodded, "Yeah…right. What do you think it is?"
"I don't know. Did he tell you much of what he went through in prison?"
"No, not a lot. I'm not as close to him like you, Ros. And he doesn't like to talk about it."
"You're worried about his mental capability?"
Ros looked intently at Emily, "How did you know?"
She shrug, "That's the first sign profilers looked at, and also we looked at how survivors deal with surviving."
"Survivors deal with surviving…Lucas…"
"He survived and he's surviving, granted he's doing a great job at his work. What about what's up in his mind? What is he thinking? Is he suffering from PTSD?"
Emily nodded, "Post Traumatic Stress Disorder; someone suffering from after effects of long term stress. Best examples are soldiers from war. There are studies that showed wide range of experience, particularly if it's extremely traumatic in a person and the symptoms vary and can sometimes be fatal to either the person suffering from it or directed at."
Ros nodded, "I don't think Lucas is suffering from this PTSD…"
Emily shook her head, "PTSD is not easily identifiable. It could lay dormant for a long time and then suddenly something traumatic might happened to that person and awaken the stresser point and trigger it."
"There is another one…Stockholm syndrome. The captive becomes sympathetic with his or her captor. A rare occurrence but usually it happened with opposite sexes. It happens when the victim falls in love with her captor who manipulates her mind for many years. Lucas' captor or tormentor was a male so it is quite impossible for him to develop Stockholm syndrome. If he did, it would be an extremely rare case."
"Can it be cured?"
Emily arched her brow, "I'm not sure, months of therapies, I think…or…if he's willing, only if his mind is willing, he could be hypnotized and be cleared of it."
Ros looked at Emily, "You sound as if you'd done it before, haven't you?"
Emily nodded, "A long time ago. Before I was with the BAU."
"Were you successful?"
She grinned, "I was lucky…Ben was taken a prisoner and spent five years in Iraq. They tried to brain-wash him into making him believe he was an Iraqi spy. His Iraqi handler did a good job on him, really screwed his brains up but he was young and we were successful in getting him back."
"How long did it take you to reverse it?"
"Too long, I spent over three days in complete isolation. I had to play Iraqi first then slowly convince him that I was Israeli and so was he…"
"Israeli? My god! They were extreme!"
Emily nodded, "Totally, Benjamin el Fayed became Muhammed bin Ahmed."
Ros raised her brows.
"But Ben is now back home in the U.S. married with three kids and is an English Professor of U. of South Carolina. No after affects so far."
They walked out of the locker room.
Ros asked Emily, "If Lucas ever needed this hypnotizing, will you help him?"
"Only if he's willing to help himself, Ros.
"That's all I'm asking. Thank you Emily." She smiled.
"Not a problem Ros."
"Ready?" Lucas nodded at them.
"One moment," Emily turned to Sam who was still working out. "Sam…I'm meeting over at -5. I'll call you with this assignment later. Get the team ready."
"Roger that, Snow White!" he grinned.
Emily shook her head as she waved to them and joined Ros and Lucas as they headed out of the INTERPOL building.
Beth was waiting for Hotch when he arrived home that evening, the dining table was set with the delicious smell of a home cooked meal and Jack, smiling and waiting for him as well.
"Daddy's home!" Jack shouted as he ran towards his father and wrapped himself into his legs.
"Hey buddy! How are you?" Hotch set his briefcase down and bent to hug his son tightly; he had not seen him in a few days.
"I missed you Daddy."
"I missed you buddy."Hotch closed his eyes for the moment as he let himself feel and become a dad again.
"Hey honey, save some of that hugs for me," he heard Beth near them.
Opening his eyes, he saw Jack smiling at him and they looked back at Beth who was waiting near the kitchen doorway with a warm smile and wearing a cook's apron that said 'KISS ME IF YOU'RE HUNGRY!'.
Hotch held Jack's hand and led him to Beth as he slid his other hand into her slim waist and kissed her lips. "Hi babe."
Beth kissed him back happily and then moved away and led them to the dining room, "Not yet…gotta first wash up before you two sit down and eat."
Hotch saw that Beth had baked a whole roasted chicken with a side of macaroni and cheese, Jack's favorite, and green beans, with a basket of fresh dinner rolls.
"Beth, this smells delicious! You have outdone yourself."
She beamed widely, "Thank you Aaron, now go wash up and let's eat!"
The Hotchner men exchanged smiles and pivoted as they hurried to the bathroom; Jack was laughing his boyish laughter as he tried to outrun his dad to the room and cheered because he'd won.
"Okay, Jack. Just this time. You beat your old man. Next time I'm not going to play Mr. Nice guy." Hotch laughingly warned his son.
"You're always Mr. Nice Guy, Daddy because you catch the bad guys all the time."
"That's right, your daddy has super powers." Hotch said.
"Better than Superman and Captain America!" Jack shouted.
"Captain America has nothing compared to your daddy." Hotch was laughing as they emerged from the bathroom.
"Did you bring your cape home Daddy?" Jack looked up at his dad.
Hotch nodded, "Oh yeah Buddy, it's in my briefcase. You know I can't wear it all the time, got to hide my true identity." He gave Beth a knowing grin. She shook her head smiling at father and son.
"Let's eat, son. Super heroes have to eat to keep up with their strength." Hotch looked serious.
"Okay daddy. I'm hungry too." Jack nodded.
They sat down at the dining room and Hotch served the meal.
Later when dishes where cleared and cleaned, they gathered in the living room where Jack took out his enormous collection of action figures and began enacting mini stories upon stories accompanied by effects and violent actions of fighting.
Hotch and Beth were sitting on the couch watching TV, or trying to watch a program when Jack's playing became too loud. Hotch noticed Beth tensing up but she hadn't said anything at all.
Glancing at the time, Hotch called to his son, "Hey Buddy, time to clean up and ready for your bath and bed."
Jack looked deflated, "Just five minutes daddy…Thor almost beat Hulk daddy."
Hotch almost nodded but Beth shook her head, "Jack, your daddy said to clean up, let's do it now. Come on." She said sternly.
Jack looked hurt as he dropped his toys and began throwing them back into their containers, his eyes were big and full of tears.
Hotch frowned and said quietly to Beth, "It was okay to give him five more minutes, Beth."
She shook her head, "No Aaron, you must be firm with him now or later on he'll really start rebelling." She looked at him directly.
Hotch thought for a moment and saw that Jack was through with his cleaning and had stomped to his room for his bath and knew that it was time to do it.
"Beth, I think we need to talk about this…about us."
She faltered a moment and brightened, "Aaron, you're spoiling everything!"
She shook her head and laughed, "Oh my god! I was saving this up till later when Jack is done with his bath, before he goes to bed but I see I'm going to have to tell you this."
"Tell me what, Beth? If this is about the London trip…"
"No, well it is but this is even better and it was a surprise for you and Jack."
"Beth…you're not making any sense, what is it?"
She picked up his hand and held it to her stomach which was still flat but the implication was obvious.
Hotch straightened up, "You're pregnant." He paled.
Beth nodded happily, "WE are pregnant, Aaron, you're going to be a daddy …again."
End of Chapter 19