The car came a stop in front of a white house with blue shudders. The rather decrepit state of the structure was hard to notice over the tall wooden fence that surrounded it.
“Ready?” asked JJ.
They were here to speak to the father of the first victim, Carl Anders. Trying to piece together a victimology and going back to the beginning seemed like the best place to start. There hadn’t been much to go on when they received the case, and it was a particularly brutal one. Four girls in two months, all beaten to death. A sadistic sadist who was escalating, and wouldn’t stop killing until he was caught.
“I think I’ll sit this one out” replied Reid in a rather nasty tone.
She couldn’t blame him. After all that had happened the last time they went on an interview together. He had been abducted and tortured and was still dealing with the repercussions of the ordeal. His personality had been completely different lately, edgy and even mean sometimes. It wasn’t like him at all and she felt responsible for it still. They should never have split up. And here they were about to do it again, but if this is what he needs then she was going to give it to him.
JJ climbed out of the car and made her way to the large gate in the tall wooden fence. She had spoken to parents who had lost children countless times before, but it never got any easier. She reviewed the facts in her head and she felt terrible for the poor man who lived here. His wife had died years ago, and his daughter was all he had had left. Now he lived here all alone in this dump. She climbed the stairs carefully as they creaked underneath her and knocked on the door.
Reid was still in the car, parked outside the house. He glanced up at the top half of the home. He couldn’t see JJ anymore from where he was. He squirmed in his seat a bit. He knew he had been mean to her and now he was feeling bad about it. Yea he had been through something awful but it wasn’t her fault, he knew that. He just couldn’t seem to stop being angry, and the drugs he had been taking to try and forget hadn’t improved his attitude any. He was considering how to apologize to JJ and how to stop being this way when he heard it. A scream from the other side of the tall fence. Hi breath caught in his throat. He knew immediately that it was JJ. He jumped out of the car and ran to the gate, pulling out his gun as he entered the yard.
“I wouldn’t do that!” yelled a voice.
Reid stopped short midway to the house and saw Carl Anders holding a knife to JJ’s throat on the porch. He swallowed hard as he stared at JJ.
“Put it down. NOW!” screamed Carl.
Reid held the gun out to his side and raised his hands.
“Ok man… just take it easy”
He bent over and placed his gun on the grass. Carl forced JJ forward towards Reid. He grabbed the gun and then shoved her over next to Reid. As she slid from his grip she could feel the knife slide lightly against her skin.
Reid reached out and caught her as she tripped forward with Carl’s hard shove. As he caught her and steadied her on her feet he immediately noticed the small trickle of blood on her neck. He tilted her head upwards to take a closer look.
“I think it’s alright. It doesn’t look like it hit any major…” Reid was talking very quickly.
“Reid, I’m fine” JJ cut him off pulling her head away to look at him.
Pointing the gun at them Carl ordered them to the barn behind the house. Inside it was dank and musty. There were several old farm tools that looked like they hadn’t been used in some time. JJ and Reid stood together, looking at each other nervously. Carl grabbed a couple of chairs and set them in the middle of the floor. He grabbed JJ by the arm and threw her into one of the chairs. Reid moved to help her.
“Don’t move” snarled Carl pointing the gun at JJ.
He grabbed some rope from the barn wall and threw it at Reid. Still pointing the gun at JJ he ordered Reid to tie her hands. Reid moved to place himself between JJ and the gun, but Carl ordered him to tie them behind her back. With a quick apologetic glance at JJ he moved behind her and began tying her hands as loosely as he could, until Carl told him that if it wasn’t done tightly he would kill them both. Reid tightened the ropes and as he slipped the rope around one more loop his slid his hand down to her and grabbed it. She squeezed his hand to tell him it was alright and then Reid stood again.
“Now her legs” cried Carl.
He threw more rope at Reid and he knelt to tie each of her ankles to the chair legs. This time he couldn’t bring himself to look her in the face. This was all HIS fault. He should NEVER have made her go in their alone. This never would have happened if he hadn’t been so awful.
When he had finished Carl shoved him into the other chair facing JJ, and tied him up himself. Both Reid and JJ were staring at Carl waiting to see what was going to happen.
“You are a liar!” Carl screamed at JJ.
“No! I didn’t lie to you” exclaimed JJ.
“Yes you did! Do you think I’m that stupid?! You said you were here for an interview, but I know you were here to arrest me, but you stupid girl thought you could do it all by yourself” Carl finished with a smirk.
Reid took those last words like a blow to the stomach. She shouldn’t have been at that door all alone, Carl was right.
“No! Really we were just here to talk to you about your daughter…” started JJ.
“Shut Up!” screamed Carl, and landed a heavy smack across her face.
“NO!” screamed Reid
Carl landed another blow to JJ’s face and Reid fought to get out of his chair.
“Stop it! Leave her alone!!!” Reid was screaming at him.
“Stop it?” asked Carl in a suddenly calm voice.
“Do you think its time to stop already?” he asked JJ.
JJ just stared at him. Such a sudden change in attitude, he was so calm now, this couldn’t be good. His sadistic nature was coming out. Carl made his way over to a drawer in a desk in the corner of the barn and pulled out an old revolver. They both saw a gun at the same time and looked at each other and then back at Carl. He walked back over to where they were sitting and opened the cylinder. He emptied all of the chambers onto the floor, then picked up one bullet and reloaded it into the weapon.
“Lets see if fate thinks its time to stop” said Carl.
He slapped the cylinder shut and spun it around. Then he aimed it right at JJ. Reid couldn’t breathe and JJ’s eyes widened.
It was so loud. The sound of that trigger being pulled. But it was just a click, no bang… no bullet. JJ let out a long breath and Reid closed his eyes. A tear fell from the corner of Reid’s eyes and he couldn’t wipe it away.
‘Thank God!’ Reid thought silently.
Reid looked up at JJ with concern in his face. She looked so scared.
“Guess its not time to stop, then” said Carl as he approached JJ again.
“But you can decide when it stops honey” he said to her, “all you have to do is tell me when you’ve had enough and I’ll move onto your friend here.”
JJ looked up at Reid and he stared back at her.
“So? What will it be? Have you had enough yet?” Carl asked JJ laughing.
JJ stared Reid right in the face as she answered him “No.”
She wasn’t about to let him be hurt because of her again. She knew it was her mistake in the first place that had gotten Reid so messed up in the first place and so it was her fault for the position they were in now. She deserved this, he didn’t.
Reid’s heart and face sank at the sound of that word. Carl became angry again and began to beat JJ. He hit her so hard that finally the chair fell over with her still in it. Reid struggled so hard against the ropes tying his hands that he could feel his own blood starting to drip down his hands, but he didn’t care.
“STOP, STOP PLEASE!” Reid kept screaming, trying desperately to do anything… ANYTHING to stop it.
Reids face was covered in tears now as he watched helplessly as Carl began to kick JJ. She finally passed out and lay still on the floor.
“please” Reid whispered meekly as he hung his head and sobbed.
“Maybe now she’s had enough” Carl growled as he picked up the chair with JJ in it and slammed it back upright on the floor.
JJ’s head hung unconscious. Reid checked to be sure she was still breathing and sighed in relief when he saw her chest rising and falling steadily. At least she was still alive. Carl grabbed the revolver off the floor from where he had dropped it earlier and headed for the door. They were alone now. At least for the moment she was safe.
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