Okay, so first thing, I realized that I haven't posted a story in three months, and I don't think I've done that in years. It was a combination of focusing my writing energies elsewhere (an original novella), and needing a break from all the cop stuff. I finished an internship and volunteer work in May that had me reading real case files very similar to what's on CM. I read hundreds of case files, and I got a little burnt out. I avoided cop shows for a while too, even CM (which I'm still behind on). So there you have it, I needed a break.
That said, I've got three stories, all chaptered that I'll be posting, probably starting at the end of July, and aside from maybe a one or two-shot here or there, that's probably going to be the end for me. I've got very little enthusiasm left for the show, and I want to focus more on my original writing projects. But I probably won't finish with all of them for while, so until then, here's a story I've had in my head for a while, or at least the first half.
Thanks for reading, and reviews are always welcome.
"Have you ever seen a snake shed it's skin, and then try to crawl back in? It is not natural."
-Ziva David, NCIS 7.04 "Truth or Consequences"
"Well, when he's not killing women, he's working as a go-between for gunrunners and biker gangs. What if we work our way in that way?" Morgan said, throwing up a hand in frustration.
"How would we do that?" Hotch asked.
Reid frowned and turned to Emily. "You said you ran into him when you were undercover as Lauren, right?"
"Yeah…" Her voice was distrustful as her eyes flicked about the room.
They'd been keeping Emily at the police station for just that reason, so she didn't encounter an unsub who might recognize her. Rossi was surprised when she didn't fight that decision. Emily hated being benched, but everything about Lauren Reynolds and her life at that time made her run or hide.
"He'll be receptive to you," Reid said. "If we send you in as Lauren, he might give something up."
Like the location of a body.
"Uh, I'd rather not do that."
JJ closed her case file, sympathetic eyes landing on Emily. "We may not have another option."
"It's not a bad plan," Hotch conceded.
Emily's jaw tensed and she looked at him, her eyes asking if he was in agreement. Dave sighed. "I don't like it, but he'll be hunting tonight. Even if he doesn't give anything up tonight, you may be able to distract him into not killing another woman."
The brunette ran her tongue over her bottom lip, and suddenly pushed away from the table, getting to her feet. She began to pace around the room, the tension thickening with every step she took.
This wasn't fair of them to ask her, he knew that, but they didn't have many options left. No Body Homicides were difficult enough, when the victims belonged to a serial killer, there was an added time crunch. Langston Davis was meeting women in Seattle, and these women were never seen again.
No one believed they were still alive.
Emily suddenly stopped. She turned back to them. "Before you ask me to do this, you need to know what you're asking."
He watched her eyes traveling among the five other pairs in the room, and when no one made comment, she sighed. "If I become Lauren for tonight, then I really become her. It's the only way I know how to do this." She bit her lip. "She is not a good person, she uses people, and you will not approve of how she deals with men." She glanced toward Morgan at the last part. "You will not like her, and you might not like me much either after this."
"I don't think you need to worry about that last part," Hotch assured her.
Emily nodded, and searched their faces again. Finally she nodded. "I need the keys to one of the SUVs and a few hours."
Rossi pulled out the set he had and held it out to her.
"One of us should go with you," Hotch said.
She shook her head. "No, I have to do this alone. It's going to be difficult enough, if any of you are around it will be impossible."
With that, she took the keys and disappeared out the door.
Morgan suddenly spoke. "I don't like this."
"Join the club," Dave muttered. He was certain that none of them really liked it, none of them liked anything that reminded them that for seven months, she'd been dead. That pain was still far too raw.
But they were desperate.
Emily's first stop was to get cigarettes and a lighter. After that she stopped at a drug store and used the GPS on her phone to find a mall. If she was going to be Lauren, she had to dress like Lauren, and she didn't have the type of clothing the gun-dealer favored in her go bag. And jewelry. Lauren favored delicate gold pieces, while Emily tended not to wear much yellow gold, and preferred pieces to be unique over expensive.
Her heart thudded as she shopped, but Emily kept it from racing out of control. She did not want to do this, did not want to slip that skin on again, but if doing so could save a woman's life, how could she say no? So her hands didn't tremble when she signed the credit car receipt, or when she broke open the pack and lit her first cigarette on the drive back to the hotel. It had taken her years to be able to quit smoking, and she'd just thrown it all away to become Lauren again.
She silently cursed Clyde for ever creating the woman in the first place, for ever deciding that Emily was perfect to go undercover.
Once inside her room, she showered and changed, slipping into the unfamiliar clothing that was like a second skin suddenly bringing Lauren alive inside her, bringing all her memories to the surface.
It wasn't so much the memories of Lauren that were hard for her. It was the ghost of Ian Doyle that was never far from her mind and inched ever closer as Lauren began to emerge. Emily disappeared for a moment, along with the hotel bathroom as she was swallowed up in memories, in Ian's embrace.
They stood on a balcony overlooking the villa grounds, Ian's arms wrapped tightly around her waist. His lips brushed the back of her neck, and he rested his head against hers. She rested her hands on top of his and released a breath of satisfaction.
Emily's eyes fluttered open, banishing the memory, but she could still smell him. His musky cologne. The bed they shared had always smelled of that musky cologne. It took her months to get used to sleeping without it.
The khakis were skinny fit, and so hugged each muscle in her legs, while the sweater was looser fit, though it didn't fail to accentuate her waist. It was light colored, but not as light as the khakis. She slid her feet into dressy brown boots that went up to mid-calf, after fitting the new shoes with gel insoles. It wasn't like she had time to break them in.
She ripped open the box and plugged in a new curling iron, allowing it to heat up so she could give herself Lauren's soft waves. She thought about cutting her hair into bangs, but decided against it. She wasn't going to dye it either.
Lastly, she spritzed herself with Lauren's perfume, and put on a bracelet and watch, leaving her neck bare. Before Lauren had died, Ian's necklace had found a permanent spot on her neck. Emily couldn't replace it now, it didn't feel right.
Where's my ring?
She was gone again in a memory, and this one wasn't so pretty.
Ian screamed in a rage, and threw her into a metal shelving unit, before pulling her back and pushing her to the floor. Her body throbbed with the pain.
Emily blinked again, her hand drifting toward her abdomen, fingers tracing her scar through the sweater. Her fingers did tremble now. She shook her hands out, and inhaled. It would be fine. She would be fine.
"Emily just texted. She's outside," Morgan said, looking up from his phone.
He saw Rossi glance at his watch. "Good timing."
"We all know where we are on surveillance?" Hotch asked. After they'd all confirmed with nodding heads, Hotch sent them out to the SUVs and headed off to gather the locals.
Morgan led the way outside, eager to check on his partner and make sure she was okay. And she was still his partner, even if Hotch had been putting him in the field with JJ more lately.
Emily would always be his partner.
He found her leaning up against the back of her SUV, a lit cigarette in one hand, and smoke pouring artfully from between her lips. She was dressed oddly as well, lighter colors and more provocative styles than he was used to seeing on her. Morgan approached her, frowning deeply and waving his hand against cigarette smoke. "Since when do you smoke?"
"Are we ready to go?" She completely ignored his question.
"Yeah. We arranged to borrow a car from one of the detectives for you. We profiled as a personal car, Lauren would have something sporty, but tough. Best we could find was a 75 Pontiac Firebird, cherry red. That work for you?"
Emily smiled and patted him on the cheek. "Good boy."
Then she strutted off in a fashion that was so out of sync with what he knew of his partner, that Morgan began to get a bad feeling about the whole thing. Well, worse feeling.
Detective Garvey handed Emily the keys to his car, while Emily shot him a flirty smile and actually brushed against him. Garvey was very clearly married. Morgan's jaw tensed, but he reminded himself that this was Lauren, not Emily, and that she had said they wouldn't like Lauren much. He sighed, and hopped into an unmarked sedan using the keys from another one of the detectives.
He arrived at the bar first, and sat im front with a view of Davis' table. Surveillance had led them to the bar he'd arrived at earlier tonight. Morgan was slowly nursing a beer and watching the crowd when Emily arrived. She strutted through the bar, clearly enjoying the attention she was receiving from all the male patrons whose eyes seemed to land on her instantly.
She stood right in front of Davis and smirked, one hand on a hip. Derek heard her speak through the feed patched into his earpiece. "Little birdie told me you were hanging around Seattle now."
His head seemed to shoot up at her voice, and a smile broke out. "I'll be damned. Lauren, you look as fuckable as the day I met you."
Morgan tensed, and spoke into his wrist mic, hiding the action by leaning toward his beer bottle. "She made contact."
"I should hope so," Emily said. No, Lauren. "I don't look this good by accident."
Davis chuckled, and leaned up, pulling Emily into his lap. Lauren. Lauren was straddling his legs, and Davis ran a hand over her ass until Lauren smacked it away. Then she pushed herself out of his lap and onto a nearby chair, and not a moment too soon. Morgan's beer bottle was only a few ounces of pressure away from bursting in his hand.
Davis rested a hand on her thigh. "So what brings you to Seattle, Lauren?"
"Looking for fresh business."
She picked up Davis' scotch and sipped it, then made a face. "I forgot you like that Kentucky shit."
He held up a hand. "I like to support American businesses."
"If they turn out whiskey like that, they don't deserve your support."
"Right, and I forgot you prefer Irish whiskey or Scotch." He smirked. "I heard you also prefer you men of that persuasion."
To Morgan's surprise, Emily didn't falter. She smiled instead and nodded. "That I do. Though not unlike with whiskey, I do occasionally taste test American varieties."
Davis smiled and his hand rose further along her thigh. With his other arm, he waved over a waitress. "Bring the lady a Bushmills."
Morgan wasn't familiar with the brand, but Garcia quickly spoke through the radio. "It's an Irish whisky, supposed to be pretty good."
After the waitress left, Lauren spoke. "To answer your earlier question, yes I'm trying to expand. Things on the east coast are getting a bit dull."
He laughed. "My mother warned me about girls like you."
"Oh really? And what kind of girl am I?"
"The kind that gets off on action and danger. Something tells me you think about sex when bullets are flying by your head."
Lauren flicked her tongue over her bottom lip, and her eyes went heavy with desire. She practically purred at Davis. "There is no greater aphrodisiac on the planet."
"As true as that may be, it also makes you reckless. Reckless isn't good to do business with."
"I'll cut you in." She said as the waitress dropped off her drink.
He paused, stared down at his glass and then back at Emily. "50%."
She cocked her head. "Yeah, right. 10%."
"20," she repeated.
He sighed. "Fine, 20 it is." He held up his glass. They clinked and Lauren downed hers in one gulp. Morgan grimaced, that was reckless for undercover work. Especially since Emily couldn't hold her liquor as well as she used to able to do. Months in the hospital and recuperating will do that to a person.
"So, you'll introduce me to your contacts?" She asked.
"I'll arrange it for tomorrow."
She nodded. "Hey, have you heard about these missing women?"
"Missing women? What do you care about them?"
"I don't like to hang around long anywhere where women go missing. I figure that reduces my chances of ending up as one of them."
His lips parted in an almost predatory grin. "Don't worry, Baby, I'll protect you."
Lauren smiled back, though hers was unmistakably predatory, and leaned close. "Are you sure you could handle me?"
Davis moved forward so that their foreheads were practically touching. "What if I told you that I know the guy that's been disappearing those women?"
"I'd say that you're bluffing." Her smile didn't fall.
He spoke softly, his lips brushing her ear, or nearly doing so. "Come home with me. Let me show you something."
Emily felt like there was a coat of used oil slicking her skin, one that she'd never be able to wash off. Davis kept his hand on her ass as he led her to his vehicle, a Challenger, maybe two years old, and black and pimped out with racing stripes. He walked her to the passenger's side of the car, and pushed her up against the door, his hands settling on her behind. He gave both cheeks a gentle squeeze, and kissed her. Hard. It wasn't passion in that kiss, but rather ownership, domination.
Emily would have pushed him away, and called it a night, but Lauren liked to play with fire. She purred at him. "Didn't know you had it in you."
"You'd be surprised what's in me, sweetheart." He gave her tush a light smack, smiled and went around to the driver's side.
Emily slide into the passenger's seat, her eyes not even glancing around to see if her back-up was with her. She trusted her team, knew they would have her back. She knew her partner would have her back.
And frankly, after being in a long-term relationship with the likes of Ian Doyle, Langston Davis wasn't all that frightening. Nothing was all that frightening after Doyle.
Davis took her hand, and for a minute she thought he was going to hold it. Instead, he rested it over the bulge in his jeans, curling her fingers around the tip of himself. Emily didn't react, except to gently stroke him through the denim. If he wanted a handjob through his pants, she'd oblige him if it meant saving another woman from his abuse. He gave off little moans as he drove, and satisfied grunts, growing harder and harder under her hand. Then they finally made it to his home, and she was rapidly losing hope that he'd give her any information.
Emily followed him along the stone path that lead to the house, but he veered off and made for the shed. She frowned, unsure what his plan was and what he needed in his shed. Langston held open the door for her, and Emily tried not to show alarm when he locked it. It looked like an average shed, filled with gardening implements and various household tools. Then he turned.
She felt the sting in her cheek, before she even knew what had happened. Emily stared at him wide-eyed. "What the hell was that?"
"Get on your knees."
"Excuse me?" She crossed her arms over her chest. He grabbed a fistful of her hair and yanked it hard.
"Get the fuck on your knees." His hands went to his pants and he began to unfasten them. "You're going to use that smart mouth of yours to get me off, and you're going to swallow every drop. Then I'm going to fuck you in the ass, and then…then it's going to get really kinky."