When Jess woke up she took a long, slow, deep breath. It felt good to be completely healthy again. She had little patience for injury.
She listened to the heart beating beneath her ear. She reveled in the feeling of being held by Dana. She was so thankful the redhead had forgiven her. She’d come so close to totally ruining a second chance at happiness. She didn’t have to worry about her secret being discovered by Dana, because she already knew it.
Jess drew in another deep breath. The scent of Dana was intoxicating. She moved her head from Dana’s chest to her shoulder. She carefully unbuttoned the buttons of her silk pajama top and slipped her right hand inside to gently cup Dana’s left breast. The redhead made a small noise in the back of her throat, but didn’t waken.
Jess began to gently massage the flesh under her palm. She felt Dana’s nipple harden.
As Dana slowly woke, she buried her fingers in dark, silky hair and arched up, pushing her breast up into the moist cavern of Jess’s mouth. “Ahhh…” she moaned softly. After another minute or two of exquisite pleasure, she felt Jess’s mouth leave her breast.
Jess kissed and licked her way up to Dana’s pulse point, where she suckled and teased. Then she shifted up and claimed her mouth in a deep kiss. Dana’s arms wrapped around her tightly. When the kiss finally broke, Jess kissed her way back down to her breasts. As she kissed and licked down Dana’s torso, she removed her pajama bottoms and panties. Finally, Jess lowered her head and took Dana into her mouth as she wrapped her arms around her thighs.
Never having been one to be very vocal, Dana cried out at the sensation of Jess’s velvety tongue. God, no one ever made her feel this good! Jess took her to the precipice… but stretched out her divine torture. Only after approaching the precipice a third time did Jess finally send her flying.
Jess moved up and took the gasping woman in her arms. She rolled them onto their sides and kissed Dana’s forehead.
Dana laid her head on Jess’s shoulder and melted into her embrace as she recovered from her mind-blowing orgasm. “If I get addicted to anything it’ll be your lovemaking,” she said with a very satisfied smile.
Jess smiled and kissed her forehead again. “I’m already addicted to you… you taste so good.”
Dana tilted her head back so she could kiss Jess on the lips. Suddenly the alarm clock sounded, startling her. Dana quickly rolled over and slapped her hand down on the offending noisemaker, turning it off, before rolling back into Jess’s embrace. “It’s a good thing I set the alarm early.”
Jess chuckled. She pulled back so she could look into Dana’s eyes. She brought her right hand up and gently cupped her cheek before kissing her tenderly. “I’m sorry,” she whispered softly as their lips parted.
“For being scared… and pushing you away. I didn’t mean to hurt you.”
Dana tightened her left arm around Jess. “What matters is that we’re here now.” She paused. “Just don’t ever do that again. Okay? I can take a lot of things, but not being shut out. Promise me, no matter what, we’ll talk things through.”
Jess nodded. “I promise,” she replied softly. She took a breath and slowly let it out. “You know, no one, except my grandfather, has ever known about my other half. Not even Toni or my parents.”
“What about Bobby Marinelli?”
Jess gazed into Dana’s sapphire blue eyes. “No one that matters,” she said softly. “And I didn’t tell Bobby; he recognized me for what I am, like I recognized him,” she added with a small smile.
“Wait a minute. How could your parents not know?”
Jess took a deep breath, shifted onto her back and stared at the ceiling. “My mother was on vacation in Europe when she was seduced by a vampire. My grandfather intervened when he realized what was happening. He made sure she got back home to her husband, Philippe Rodier, in Vancouver. He had been too busy with work to take vacation. Anyway, I was born about nine months later. I don’t think either one of them realized,” she finished with a shrug.
“But growing up… they didn’t know?”
Jess shook her head. “My mother was already gone when I began to… notice things. And I had stopped going home for the summer from boarding school. My grandfather was the one I turned to. Even though he lived so far away in England, he came to visit me at school regularly. He explained it all to me. I was seven.”
Dana leaned up on her elbow, and with her left hand she gently nudged Jess’s gaze to her meet her own. “You don’t have to carry the secret alone anymore, Jess.” She lowered her mouth to Jess’s and tried to convey her feelings through her kiss.
As their kiss heated up, Dana shifted on top of Jess, straddling her hips. Her hands palmed the brunette’s breasts through the thin cotton of her tank top. Very quickly that wasn’t enough. She needed to feel Jess’s smooth skin against her own. As soon as she could get Jess’s shirt removed, she kissed her way down until she could take an erect nipple into her mouth. Jess’s skin smelled and tasted so good. Dana moved to her other breast and suckled, replacing her lips with her fingers on the abandoned one.
God, Dana lips and tongue was driving her crazy. Jess’s breasts felt heavy and her nipples ached from arousal. She suddenly took Dana’s head between her hands and pulled her up for a deep, passionate kiss, tongues entwining and sliding over each other. Jess broke the kiss and her head slammed back into the pillow as slender, deft fingers slid over her clit.
Jess was so wet and responsive… and so damn beautiful at the height of arousal. Dana’s heart clenched painfully, just for a moment, as the thought of how close she’d come to losing Jess ran through her mind. “I love you, Jess,” she murmured as she slipped two fingers inside her slick heat.
Jess opened her eyes and gazed up into the eyes of the woman who’d captured her heart… and was now taking command of her body. “I love you, too.” And then Dana curled her fingers inside her; Jess’s eyes snapped shut, her lungs sucked in a gasp and her body arched up into Dana.
Dana kissed and nipped her way down Jess’s body until she settled between her well-muscled thighs. Still moving her fingers in and out of Jess, she began to lick and suckle.
Jess sank her fingers into soft, red tresses as she writhed and moaned under Dana’s loving attentions. She cried out as her orgasm slammed into her. Dana held on, not stopping. She curled her fingers as she continued to pump in and out of her. Somehow Jess’s orgasm intensified. Fuck! She couldn’t take anymore! She begged Dana to stop.
Dana was smiling as she gently withdrew from Jess. That had been incredible! Making Jess come was indescribably satisfying and erotic. As she put her fingers in her mouth to lick them clean, she glanced at the clock. They still had some time before they had to get up. She quickly moved to reset the alarm and then took her limp and blissful lover into her arms.
Twenty minutes later the alarm once again sounded, waking both women.
“Do we have to get up?”
“This time I’m afraid we do,” Dana answered as she turned off the alarm. She got out of bed and smiled as she took in the view of her naked lover. “I’m going to take a shower… you can join me if you want.”
Jess opened her eyes and smirked at the redhead. “You, wet and slick under the water… if I do we’ll never get out of here. Go. I’ll wait my turn.”
Dana felt Jess’s sparkling grey eyes on her as she turned and headed to the bathroom. Under the hot water of the shower Dana wondered at how different Jess was from her previous lovers, and not because she was half vampire or a woman. But because of the way Jess made her feel, physically as well as emotionally. She had never been a prude, but she felt so comfortable and uninhibited with Jess; she looked forward to exploring all kinds of pleasures with her. Dana had never truly let go with her previous lovers. She always felt she had to maintain control, over herself and a relationship.
As she soaped her body, her left hand unconsciously caressed and teased her nipples. Her eyes closed. God, she felt so free, so happy, so alive! A soft moan passed her lips as the fingers of her right hand slid through auburn curls and into wetness having nothing to do with the water.
Jess’s eyes snapped open as she sucked in a gasp. She got of bed and stalked into the bathroom. She opened at the door of the shower and took in the sight of Dana. The redhead’s eyes were closed, her lips were parted and a low moan escaped her throat as she pinched one of her nipples and stroked her clit.
Jess’s heavy breathing registered before the fact that the shower door was open. She opened her eyes and felt her heart skip a few beats. Jess’s eyes were black, fathomless pools of animalistic arousal. There was a predatory air about Jess, and she was the… lucky prey. She almost came on the spot. With an almost silent growl Jess took her in her arms and kissed her, hard. Dana sank her fingers in dark hair and returned the kiss with equal fervor. And then she felt Jess’s fingers enter and fill her. She tore her mouth from the brunette’s and moaned. “Oh, God… Jess… fuck me!”
Suddenly she was lifted and pressed against the steam-warmed tiles of the shower wall. She wrapped her legs around Jess’s waist and met her every thrust. Her fingernails left crescent shaped marks on Jess’s back and shoulders. A primal scream was ripped from her throat as she came hard.
Jess struggled to rein in the desire to bite Dana – not to feed, but to… well, she wasn’t really sure. She’d never felt the urge to bite during sex before. When Dana came, screaming her name and sinking her nails into her back, it was enough to make her come as well. She realized Dana was completely out of it. So Jess gently cleaned her, dried her off, and carried her into the bedroom.
The next thing Dana became aware of was waking up lying on her bed.
She opened her eyes at the soft voice. Jess, already dressed for work, sat on the side of the bed next to her. Jess tenderly caressed her cheek.
Scully and Morgan were only a few minutes late to the office. When they entered the bullpen, most of the agents present made it a point to ask Morgan how she was and say they were glad to see she was okay.
Before she got to the office, Taylor came out of his, with Casper following behind him. “Alright, everyone, listen up. Agent Casper is going to bring us up to date on our investigation into Hugh Kensey.”
Morgan looked at Scully. “Who the hell is Hugh Kensey?”
“Our Mr. Russell Schiff. We think he’s the Reaper.”
After Casper briefed everyone on the investigation into Hugh Kensey, Morgan wanted to get after the guy right away. Before she could even formulate a plan Taylor pulled her into his office, closing the door behind her.
“Before you say anything, the Director has already given me strict orders. You are on desk duty.”
Morgan opened her mouth to protest but Taylor cut her off.
“And if you have a problem with that then you just go home. Those are the Director’s exact words,” he said as he crossed his arms. “So, what’s it going to be?”
Morgan knew she couldn’t fight it. To prove she was fit for field duty would cause way too many questions. “Fine. I’ll be in my office.”
Morgan sat down at her desk and turned on the computer. Something about this Hugh Kensey was nagging at the back of her mind. She proceeded to research everything she could find on him.
Morgan jumped when she felt a hand on her shoulder.
“Easy, it’s just me, Jessica,” said Casper. “What are you working on?” he asked as he pulled over a chair from the worktable and sat next to Morgan.
Morgan let out a sigh. “Just digging into Kensey, seeing what I can find.” She shook her head. “There something…”
“I don’t know. There’s something niggling at the back of my mind, but I can’t put my finger on it.”
“I’m sure it’ll come to you; I know how your mind works,” he said with an easy smile.
Morgan rubbed her hand over her face and let out a frustrated growl. “I think I’ve been doing this too damn long.”
“Why do you say that?”
Morgan looked at her old partner. “Mulder – I didn’t see it coming, John; not from him.”
“I wish I could say I was surprised by him, but I’m not. Not with the way he was about you and Toni. And you know how he got that summer, um… in ‘89, when he began going on about his sister being abducted by aliens.”
“And that’s my point. I should have seen it coming. I should have known it was him.” She pressed the heels of her hands against her eyes. “I’m so tired of these sick bastards and trying to crawl around in their minds. I’m sick of the rapes and murders and molestations of innocent victims. I don’t know how much longer I can do this, John.” She angrily wiped away tears that threatened to spill.
Casper reached out and took one of Morgan’s hands in his. “Look at me, Jessica.” He waited until she did. “You are very good at what you do, but you are not the only profiler in the Bureau. It’s not up to you to solve all the crimes. The Bureau survived without you. If doing what you’re doing is too much for you, you should do something else. Organized Crime, Cyber Crimes, White-Collar, Counterterrorism, you name it – any division in the Bureau would be thrilled to get you. Or you’d make a hell of an instructor.”
“My thoughts exactly.”
Both agents jumped at the voice that came from the doorway.
“Give us some privacy, please.”
“Yes, sir,” Casper said. He stepped out of the office and closed the door behind himself.
Morgan looked at the man who had personally asked her to return to the Bureau almost three years ago. He sat on the chair Casper had vacated.
“I wanted to come down to see how you were doing being back so quickly after the shooting. But I think we need to talk about more than that, don’t you?” he said kindly. “I know I’m the one that came to you and asked you to come back to the Bureau. And you’ve performed even beyond my expectations.” He paused, gathering his thoughts and choosing his words. “You’re an extraordinary profiler, and you’ve given so much of yourself to Bureau. But don’t push yourself to a burnout. I know what you went through and why you walked away.” He dropped his eyes as he remembered the tragic events. “We all loved Toni.” He looked back up and into her eyes. “Don’t let the work suck the life out of you. You’ve worked the worst of the worst for almost nine years. I think it’s time to ease that load.”
The fact that Morgan didn’t disagree with him told the Director just how right he was.
“I know I’ve been pushing to get you to Quantico as an instructor, but that’s not your only option. Casper’s right – any division would be thrilled to have you. There are also some SAC positions opening up soon.”
Morgan finally spoke. “I appreciate that, Lou. And before this case I would have told you flat out that I didn’t want to do anything else.” She sighed. “But I do think I at least need a break. Let’s talk about it after we get this guy.”
“Alright. In the meantime, think about what you’d like to do.” He patted her shoulder as he stood up and then left.
“Son of a bitch!”
The agents near Morgan’s office looked up in surprise.
Morgan came out of the office with a folder in her hand. She marched into AD Taylor’s office and tossed the folder down on the man’s desk. “I knew there was something about this guy. I know this bastard.”
“Hugh Kensey – we were both in Boston when I was at Harvard and he was at MIT. There aren’t but so many 12- and 13-year-olds that are in college. Harvard and MIT had some social gatherings for their younger students. I met this guy. We were the same age. His family is old money. He was pimply-faced and wore glasses, but this is him.”
“Obviously his skin has cleared up and he either switched to contacts or had Lasik. What do you remember about him?”
“Brilliant. Of course he’d have to be to enter MIT at age 12. But he was smart in more than just science and engineering. He was actually quite good with people; always seemed to know how to get along with anyone when he chose to be around other people. He was charming even then.”
“Did you spend much time around him?”
“No. He didn’t really interest me.” Morgan smiled mentally as she remembered just who did interest her at that time. She officially came out about two and half years later when she was 15. “But from what I do remember about him, he’ll have thought out every possibility and devised at least three ways of dealing with those possibilities.” She paused. “John said Kensey has property in eight or nine states.”
“Yeah, we’re trying to get search warrants for all his places. I want to hit all of them at the same time so he doesn’t get tipped off.”
“Do me a favor and don’t execute them without talking to me. I’m going to try to narrow down our best choices.”
“Alright. Let me know what you come up with.”
Morgan ruled out Kensey’s apartment on Fifth Ave in New York, his house in Palm Springs, CA, his condo on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina, his condo in South Beach, FL and his small horse ranch outside Dallas. She focused her concentration on his place in the Jackson Hole Valley in Wyoming. About an hour of focused digging led her to believe that wasn’t where they’d find they quarry. Then she stumbled onto something, pretty much by accident.
Morgan left her office and headed to seek some help from someone in the White-Collar Crime Division. She spoke to Section Chief Harrison who introduced her to Agent Rodney Michaels.
“So, what can I do for you, Agent Morgan?”
“Harrison says you’re the best and fastest at sorting through financials and shell companies and such. I’m trying to find a piece of property I think is hidden by a financial Rubik’s cube.”
“Let me see what you have.”
Morgan handed a file to Michaels.
He glanced through it. “Give me a couple of hours to dig through this and see what I can come up with.”
“Alright. Here’s my number,” she said handing him her card.
“I’ll call you as soon as I find something.”
When Morgan returned to the bullpen, Scully intercepted her on the way to her office. She gently grabbed Morgan’s arm.
“Come on. You haven’t eaten all day; let’s go grab a late lunch.”
Part of Morgan wanted to decline, but it was only a small part. She smiled. “Okay.”
They decided on a quiet, small restaurant not far from headquarters. They chose a private booth in the back, away from prying eyes.
After the waiter left with their orders, Dana looked at Jess. “You sure a salad is all you want to eat?”
Jess smiled. “Yeah. I’m not very hungry and it’ll tide me over until dinner.” She smirked and her grey eyes sparkled with mischievousness, “Besides, what I had for breakfast was quite delicious.”
Dana felt the heat of her blush color her face. She lowered her gaze with a small, coy smile that also appeared quite satisfied and pleased. Jess’s comment did bring up a topic she wanted to discuss. “About that…”
Jess’s expression changed from one of amusement to attentiveness. “What is it, Dana?” she asked gently.
Dana looked back up into warm and caring eyes. “What exactly happened this morning? I mean…” She searched for the words.
Jess reached out and put her hand over Dana’s on the table. “I know what you mean, Dana.” She took a deep breath and let it out. “I… felt you this morning. In the shower when you… well, I felt it – viscerally.” She paused for a couple of beats. “I guess we now know I was affected by taking your blood.”
Dana turned her hand under Jess’s so she could clasp it. She gave her hand a squeeze and nodded slightly. “I was, too.” At Jess’s questioning look she explained. “When you were in surgery, your heart stopped.” Dana closed her eyes as they watered and a lump formed in her throat. She swallowed around the lump and opened her eyes. “I was in the waiting room and I knew something was wrong. I had to find you. I found the OR you were in and watched from the observation theater. Once they got your heart started and stabilized you, the feeling went away.”
Jess squeezed Dana’s hand and was about to say something, but their waiter chose to reappear at that moment with their order.
The rest of their lunchtime was spent eating and steering clear of any heavy topics.
It was about 4:15 in the afternoon when Morgan’s phone rang.
“Agent Morgan, it’s Rod Michaels. I think I’ve got what you were looking for.”
“Great. I’ll be right there.”
She rushed out of her office and went to see him.
“So what you do have?” Morgan asked when she arrived at Michael’s desk.
“This.” He laid out a copy of a deed he’d printed out. “It’s not under his name – it’s been hidden behind a couple of shell companies and a holding company. As were these.” He started laying out invoices for Morgan to see. “He’s used a shell game to hide everything related to this property.” He pointed at one invoice, “This is a generator that could supply electricity for a small house.” He pointed to another, “This is for the rental of excavation equipment. And here is a satellite dish. Whatever is there, it appears he’s taken steps to make it self-sufficient; no need for public utilities that could leave a paper trail.”
Morgan gathered the papers and put them in the folder she’d given him. “Great work; thank you.”
Arriving back in the bullpen, Morgan went in to see Taylor.
“I think I know where he’s at… or at least where he spends quite a bit of time.” She handed him the folder. “It’s the only piece of property he’s bothered to hide. I think this is where we need to concentrate our greatest efforts when we execute the search warrants.”
Taylor nodded and then walked to the doorway of his office. “Scully! Casper!” he called.
Both agents stood and walked over to him.
“You two are going to Carbondale, Illinois. Get there tonight, but we need to move on this tomorrow. Morgan’s got the details.”
Morgan briefed Scully and Casper in her office.
“This is the only piece of property he’s tried to hide. But you have to understand something. Kensey is smart and not just book smart. If this is his sanctuary, then he’ll have thought about all the possible avenues of approach and will have more than one exit strategy. This is the guy of my original profile – he’s dangerous.”
Scully called the airport and made arrangements for their flight. While she was occupied with that, John and Jess spoke quietly.
“Are you sure you’re up to this, John, with your arm?”
“I’m fine. It wasn’t a bad wound and it’s only my left arm. I’ve been good and have been resting it for the last few days. Besides, we’ll have plenty of backup with the locals. Don’t worry; we’ll get this guy, Jessica.”
“I should be going, but the Director’s grounded me; put me on desk duty.”
“And rightly so. You’re concerned about my arm – but you almost died! Quite frankly, I’d have not let you back to work at all yet.”
Morgan nodded, but everything in her chafed at being deskbound.
Scully hung up. “Okay. We’re on a 7:00 flight out of Dulles and land at 8:15 local time. We’ll fly into St. Louis and then have a two hour drive to Carbondale.”
Casper looked at his watch. “We should get going then.”
“Just give me a couple of minutes,” Scully said. “I’ll be right back.”
When Scully stepped out of the office, Morgan pinned Casper with a hard look. “You make sure nothing happens to her, John. Or else you and I are going to have a problem.”
He knew she was deadly serious, but he didn’t take any offense. In fact, he was happy for her. John smiled and pulled her into a one armed hug. “I’ll protect her with my life,” he whispered softly in her ear before kissing her temple.”
John’s soft promise touched her heart, suddenly causing tears to sting the backs of her eyes. Damn, her emotions were so out of control! She’d kept tight rein on her emotions for six years. But then she met, and fell for, Dana. Now she had a real chance of being happy again. Hell, she was happy!
“You deserve to be happy, Jessica.”
Jess pulled back and looked up into his eyes. “I am.”
Scully reentered the office as John and Jess let go of each other.
With a look at both women, John excused himself. “I’ll uh, I’ll wait by the elevators.” He left, closing the office door shut behind him.
“Do I want to know what that was about?” Dana asked.
Jess smiled. “Just being reminded of why John’s such a good friend.” Her expression changed to a serious one as she moved to stand directly in front of Dana. “The Director won’t let me go with you. And to prove I’m field-ready would cause way too many questions.”
Dana nodded in understanding.
“Promise me you’ll be careful, Dana.”
“I will be.”
“This guy is smart; you need to be prepared for the unexpected. Make sure you wear protection, and–”
With a smile Dana laid a single finger across Jess’s lips, silencing her. Then she kissed her. Jess’s arms wrapped about her and they deepened the kiss. When oxygen became an urgent need for both of them they broke the kiss, resting their foreheads together a moment.
“I hate that I’m not going with you,” Jess breathed as she pulled back. “I know that you can handle yourself, but…”
“I know. Now you know how I felt when you took off on your own to the warehouse.”
Jess dropped her head, feeling remorseful. “I’m sorry.”
Dana cupped the brunette’s cheek and lifted her face. “Like I said, just don’t do it again.”
Dana reached into her pocket and handed Jess her apartment keys. “Stay at my place while I’m gone.” Jess started to object, but she cut her off. “There’s absolutely no reason for you to stay at a hotel, Jess.” She smiled. “And I like the thought of you sleeping in my bed.”
Jess smiled. “Call me, when you land; hopefully I’ll have an update and some more information for you.”
Once Scully and Casper landed in St. Louis they rented a car and headed east on Interstate 64 into Illinois. Scully opened her phone and called Morgan.
“Hey, Jess, it’s me.”
“Hey. When you get there, the county sheriff’s office is in Murphysboro, five to 10 minutes east of Carbondale. They’ll have jurisdiction in that area. Taylor says if they don’t cooperate or give you hard a time to call him.” She chuckled. “I don’t expect any problems, but you never know with small towns – could be another Bud Calhoun.”
Dana laughed, “God, I hope not!” She then heard Jess sigh and correctly interpreted it. “It’ll be alright, Jess. John will watch my back.”
“You’re damn right he will!”
Dana was surprised by Jess’s vehemence. “And what does that mean?”
“It means, since I can’t be there to watch your back John will.”
Dana heard a voice in the background.
“Dana? I’ve got to go. We’re trying to coordinate all the search warrants for tomorrow. But give me a call later. Let me know what the locals have to say and hopefully I can tell you what time they want you to go in.”
“Alright, I’ll talk to you later, Jess. Bye.”
Jess turned the key in the lock. Part of her felt a bit like an intruder, entering Dana’s apartment without her there. But a part of her felt like she was coming home.
Home. She hadn’t had a home in a long time. She didn’t count the manor in England she’d inherited from her grandfather, even if that’s where she retreated to when she quit the Bureau. No, this was the first time in six years she felt anything close to ‘home.’
Jess had already eaten while at work, so she simply headed to the bedroom to undress. After a long, hot shower, she fell into bed, curled around Dana’s pillow and scent, and fell asleep.
John’s voice broke the comfortable silence in the car, surprising Dana. She looked over at him from the passenger seat. “What for?”
John looked at the beautiful redhead. Jess always did have great taste in women! “Thank you for not giving up on Jessica; thanks for loving her and making her happy.”
Dana’s heart warmed and she smiled. “My pleasure. Loving her is the easiest thing I’ve ever done.”
John pointed out the windshield. “Ah, here we are. There’s the sheriff’s office.” He pulled into the parking lot at 1001 Mulberry St. and parked in front of the two-story, glass-front building. John turned off the car engine and looked at his watch. Almost a quarter to midnight. “Hopefully we won’t be going after him first thing in the morning; it’s going to be a long night.”
Inside the sheriff’s office they approached a window, behind which sat a woman wearing a blue polo shirt with an embroidered department insignia on the left chest. Scully and Casper both flashed their credentials.
“We need to speak with someone in charge, please,” Casper said.
“Sgt. Thomas is here, but you’ll want to see the sheriff. I’ll call him.”
Only 15 minutes later Sheriff Ted Shipley pulled into the department parking lot at the back of the building. He entered through the back door and came out to the front to see why the feds were in his county.
Shipley took in the appearance of the male agent – six foot, sandy hair, green eyes, early 40’s. But it was the female agent that almost made him do a double take. The petite redhead with bright blue eyes was gorgeous! He was so taken with her that he almost missed what she’d said.
“Oh, sure. We can go back to the conference room. Follow me.” He led them through the locked door and down a hallway. They passed the dispatch office, a couple of rooms and a stairway leading up to the second floor. They turned right down another long corridor and entered the second room on the right. The sheriff had called it the conference room, but it obviously doubled as a break room.
Once in the conference room, Scully laid out the reason for their presence. As soon as Shipley realized how serious the situation was, he interrupted her.
“Before you go any further, Agent Scully, please let me get my people together, so that you don’t have to go over everything twice.”
She nodded and he stepped out of the room. Shortly, Scully was addressing the sheriff, his lieutenant, Eric Brown, the on duty sergeant, Noah Thomas, a couple of detectives, and a number of uniformed deputies.
It was when a map was put up on the wall that Casper and Scully began to recognize how difficult things were going to be.
Kensey’s property was a few miles southwest of Murphysboro on a heavily wooded bluff above the Mississippi river. The only access was a road, or rather a dirt road.
“You’re not going to get a car up that road,” one of the deputies said.
The sheriff nodded in agreement. “We’ll have to use the ATVs.” He looked at the agents. “How sure are you there’s something up there to find? Because I know of only one house up there, and they’re a nice couple.”
“According the deed and land plot he owns 12 acres, so he could have a place hundreds of feet back into the woods,” Casper answered.
“Look, this guy is smart. He has two PhDs in engineering. We know he rented excavation equipment, purchased a satellite and a large generator that could easily power a small home. He tried to hide the existence of this place and keep it completely off the grid,” Scully pointed out. “We’re executing search warrants of all his properties simultaneously tomorrow. But we believe this is our best bet. This is his refuge and even if he’s not there, we should be able to gather important intelligence and evidence.” She paused for a beat. “But you should also know that if he is there, we have an arrest warrant. We consider him very dangerous. He’s a suspect in the brutal murders of over 30 women, possibly as many as 100. And he has been practically perfect in leaving no clues or forensics. The only clues he’s left behind he left deliberately as red herrings. Do not underestimate this man.”
“What time is the warrant to be served?”
Casper gave the sheriff a folder with background on the suspect, a couple of stills taken from the nanny cam footage, Morgan’s profile, and some information on the murders. The sheriff made copies and distributed it to the personnel that would be participating in the operation – with harshly worded warnings of dire consequences for any leaks.
The mood in the sheriff’s station was one of excitement. Cases like this didn’t come along but once in a blue moon. However, as the detectives and deputies reviewed the file, the mood transformed into one of simmering anger and quiet determination. They were going after a real monster; a monster that had chosen to make their community his roosting place.
Outside the clouds thickened and rain started falling. It was as if Nature herself was reflecting the same mood as those preparing for what was to come.
It was after 2:30 in the morning when Scully and Casper checked into their hotel in Carbondale. Scully took a quick shower before putting on her pajamas. She slipped into bed, exhausted. But sleep didn’t come.
So much had happened in the last six weeks. For over five and half years she had worked with Mulder. But she had ended that partnership. She had felt guilty about it because she requested the transfer without even telling him. But then she found out what he’d been doing.
Dana rolled over and punched her pillow. She should have seen it coming! The man had let a quack drill a hole in his head and give him a dangerous hallucinogen, all to satisfy his fanatical search for the truth. ‘Truth,’ with a capitol T. He almost committed suicide that weekend in Rhode Island.
God! Mulder had showed one sign after another of being unstable! But over the years she’d become inured to the signs; what was strange and alarming became normal for him. If she had seen the same behaviors in anyone else, she’d have recommended hospitalization and a thorough psych evaluation.
How did her life get so far off track? She’d lost all her friends because she got so wrapped up in work that nothing else mattered. Hell, she’s put the job and Mulder ahead of her own family! Melissa was gone because of… No, she couldn’t go down that road right now. Her eyes watered. Before she was even cognizant of her own actions, she had picked up her cell phone from the nightstand and dialed.
Her tears finally broke free and flowed down her cheeks when she heard the sleepy voice on the other end. “Jess?”
Jess had only been asleep about an hour when her cell phone rang. She reached and snagged it from the nightstand. “Morgan.”
Jess came fully awake in a split second. Something was wrong with Dana. “Dana? What’s wrong?” She heard a sniff before Dana answered.
“I just…” Why had she called Jess? She knew Jess should have been sleeping – it was almost 4:00 in the morning in DC. “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have called.”
“No. You did the right thing. Can you tell me what’s wrong?” Jess asked gently.
Dana sighed and wiped at her eyes. “I couldn’t sleep. I can’t stop thinking about things.”
“Mulder, my sister, the last six years, the X-Files, the case, Kensey… everything.”
“Talk to me about it,” Jess encouraged.
“Honestly, I really don’t want to talk about; I don’t want to think about it.”
“Okay. So we’ll talk about something else.”
“Tell me about the last place you went for vacation.”
“Vacation? What’s that?”
Jess chuckled. “Alright. I won’t give you hard time about not taking vacation since I’m hardly in a position to criticize anyone about that. So tell me about where you would go if you could take a vacation anywhere in the world you wanted?”
Dana slid down onto her back. “Hmm, I’m not sure. At one time I would have said Ireland.”
“My family’s Irish.”
“Really? I never would have guessed,” Jess lightly teased.
Dana couldn’t help but smile. “Oh, yes. I even inherited an Irish temper to go with my red hair.”
“You don’t say.” They both chuckled. “Well, if Ireland isn’t your choice now, what is?”
“I think somewhere on the water. I’ve always loved the water.”
“Do you like sailing?”
“I learned one summer when I was a teenager. There was a class on the base through the community center. It’s been many years since I’ve gone on a dive – probably not since my freshman year in college.”
“Okay, somewhere on the water. How about the Caribbean? Or the South Pacific?”
Dana hummed in thought, “Hmmm, either would be nice.”
“Somewhere secluded or around other vacationers?”
A smile crept across Dana’s face. “Depends… am I on this vacation with someone?”
“Yes – if you want.”
“Then I would say somewhere secluded.”
“When we close this case, let’s take a vacation, Dana. You and me, somewhere on a secluded beach.”
“That would be wonderful.”
“Is that a yes?”
“Yes, it’s a yes. I’d love to go on vacation with you.” She yawned twice.
“Can you sleep now, Dana?”
“Mm hmm…” She was already falling asleep.
“Good night, love.”
Dana slept peacefully through the rest of the night.
Rain. It had been raining for hours. And, from the rolling, dark grey clouds it appeared it would be raining for some time to come.
Scully sighed to herself as she thought about what one of the deputies had said about their destination. No car would take them up that bluff. ATVs were going to be the mode of transportation. It was going to be a rough, muddy, wet ride. There had been no question about dressing casually.
Scully looked over the assembled group. The detectives and deputies from the previous night’s shift had all come in early to execute the operation. She easily picked up on the determined atmosphere, and was infinitely grateful for the serious attitude and lack of territorial posturing. The man they were going after was a monster in every sense of the word. And she had examined and autopsied more than enough young women to be intimately familiar with his ‘work.’
A female deputy, Ashlee Stratton according to her nametag, tapped Scully on the shoulder. “Here you go, Agent Scully. Use my spare vest, it’ll fit you better than those,” she said with a nod towards the ones Sgt. Thomas was handing to Casper and a male deputy.
“Thanks.” Scully immediately slipped it on and adjusted the straps for a snug fit. Then her phone rang. “Scully.”
“Hey, Dana, it’s me.”
“What’s up, Jess?”
“Got some more information on Kensey. Seems he spent a year in Carbondale teaching at the college there – SIU. Only he used the name Brian Adams. That time corresponds to when he was setting up his place there.”
“The place is up on a bluff, Jess, overlooking the Mississippi. Once we turn off the main road the cars will only go to the base of the bluff. From there it’s a gravel and dirt road. And with the rain we’re having it’s going to be muddy. The sheriff has arranged for us to go up on ATVs.”
“Damn. He could hear those coming from a distance. You’re not going to have the element of surprise, Dana. If he’s there he’s going to be ready for you.”
“Maybe the rain will mask the ATVs.”
“Don’t count on it. You know how good he is, so be careful.”
“I will, Jess. We’re about to leave so we can get there and be ready on time. I’ll call you later.”
It was a caravan that left the sheriff’s office, led by Sheriff Shipley in his department SUV. Riding with him were Sgt. Thomas and Lt. Brown. Casper and Scully followed in their rental car. Behind them were the three patrol cars with a detective and a uniformed deputy in each. Nine locals and two federal officers – all to serve a search warrant and arrest one man.
The sheriff pulled off Rt. 3 onto a loose, muddy, gravel road. Less than half a mile later he pulled to the edge of the road and waited as the other vehicles followed suit. Deputy Norwood was already there since he’d driven the truck and trailer that delivered the four red ATVs. He had already unloaded them and one of them already looked pretty muddy.
Casper and Scully got out of the car and joined the sheriff. It was raining so hard they were soaked through in seconds.
“I checked out the road ahead, Sheriff. Not even your SUV is going to make it up to the bluff. This rain has washed out most of it; it’s nothing but mud,” Andrew Norwood reported.
Shipley looked back at the assembled group. They had 12 people and only four ATVs to get everyone up to the suspect’s property. Obviously it was going to take more than one trip. In only a couple of minutes, the first group was ready to go. Scully had been assigned to ride with Deputy Stratton.
Ashlee Stratton looked over her shoulder at her passenger. “You’re going to want to hold on, Agent Scully.” When Scully placed her hands on Stratton’s waist, the deputy grabbed them and pulled Scully’s arms completely around her waist. “I mean hold on tight. This is going to be a tricky ride.”
Despite the cold rain Scully felt a little warmer snugged up behind the 5’7” deputy. And when Stratton started up the muddy road, she felt the ATV slip and slide through the deep mud, causing her to hold on tighter.
Once up top of the bluff, the ATVs let off their passengers and then returned to the bottom for the four remaining people. Finally they were all once again assembled. Because no one knew exactly where Kensey’s cabin was they actually passed the entrance of his property twice before someone realized it.
Kensey’s ‘driveway’ was little more than a mud footpath. It was mostly grown over, so the ATVs slowly went ahead of those on foot, to widen the path a little bit. Over 500 feet off the road, they finally came to a cabin in a small clearing.
“I’ll be damned; I had no idea this was even here,” the sheriff muttered as he signaled for his people to circle the area, sticking inside the tree line so they remained out of sight.
Despite everyone being on alert and moving carefully, one of the detectives missed a tripwire and sprung a trap. A piece of rebar shot up and hit him just to the side of his heart. Had he not been wearing Kevlar, the metal would have easily impaled him. As it was, he went down hard, and had trouble breathing.
Scully rushed to him. “Don’t move. Take small, easy breaths.”
The sheriff knelt in the mud next to Det. Whitten and supported his head. “You’re going to be alright, Charlie.”
Scully pulled open the man’s jacket, vest, and then shirt. He had a bruise already starting to blossom on his chest. She carefully checked the area. “I don’t think you’ve broken any ribs, Detective.”
“Why can’t he breathe?” Shipley asked as the man still struggled to get a decent amount of air into his lungs.
“It knocked the wind out of him and then his chest muscles tightened up from the shock of the impact.” She looked down at the detective. “Relax, Detective; slow, calm, easy breaths.”
Slowly the tightness eased around Charlie’s chest and he was able to get more oxygen into his lungs. It hurt too damn much to take a deep breath, but he no longer felt like he was suffocating.
“That’s it. Now, you may have cracked a rib and bruised your lung so you’re going to need to be checked out at the hospital.”
“Does he need to be evacuated immediately?” the sheriff asked with concern.
“No. But he should rest until we do leave.”
Charlie nodded. “Go on. I’ll be alright,” he assured the sheriff.
“Let’s get you moved somewhere a little drier first,” Scully suggested. She and sheriff helped the detective up and over to sit against a tree.
Whitten was still wet and muddy, but some of the rain was at least blocked by the trees. Scully was worried about him being chilled, but before she could say anything, the sheriff called to one of the deputies.
“Stratton, get one of the first aid kits.”
“On it!” Ashlee replied. She carefully hurried to the nearest ATV, retrieved the first-aid kit and took it to Scully. “Here you go, Agent Scully.”
“Thank you.” Scully removed a space blanket from the kit and tore open its packaging. She quickly had it unfolded and with the help of Stratton, got it wrapped around the injured detective.
The sheriff keyed his radio. “Okay, people, tighten up. We move in pairs. Watch where you step, and where your partner steps.”
Morgan was beside herself. She couldn’t sit, she couldn’t eat, she couldn’t keep her heart from racing, she couldn’t think clearly. Dana and John were out there without her to watch their backs. Jess chafed at being stuck in the office. It went against everything she was to sit back and be passive. She wanted to be out there, catching the sick bastard.
It was one thing to come in to a case, profile an UNSUB and then move onto the next case. But to profile the UNSUB and then work the case until its conclusion was another story. She wanted to help! But she was not doing anyone much good at the moment. She couldn’t concentrate enough to dig through Kensey’s past. But she did take each piece of the puzzle agents in the bullpen, and in the field in several states, gathered and wrote them on a list in an effort to get the whole picture.
Her phone rang. “Morgan… Yes… They’re sure?… Alright, thank you.” She hung up and added another item to her list.
Used name Jerry Tyler with Elizabeth Timmons (Miami)
Kensey seemed to change names and identities as easily as most people changed their clothes. They had five aliases for him already and were probably only scratching the surface. His picture was being shown to the families and friends of all their known victims to see what other names he used. She closed her eyes while trying to focus her thoughts. Then the phone on her desk rang.
“This is Chief Bud Calhoun from Midway, Georgia. I don’t know if you remember me…”
Morgan pinched the bridge of her nose. “I remember you, Chief. What can I do for you?”
“It’s about this picture I received.”
“What about it?”
“I know this guy. His name’s Ben Lufkin. He applied for a job in my department. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the budget to add anyone. He had great credentials – worked for Chicago PD.”
Morgan perked up. “Did you check his references, Chief?”
“Of course. Spoke to his old lieutenant – Pete Sawyer. Sawyer couldn’t say enough about him. What’s going on, Agent? You think this is the guy you’ve been looking for? I did check him out, you know.”
“Thanks for calling Chief.” Morgan hung up and added to her list.
Used name Ben Lufkin with Dawn Browning (Midway)
With one man already injured, everyone was in an even higher state of alert. They slowly approached the cabin. Scully and Casper went up onto the small porch. Standing to the side of the door, Casper knocked on it with the butt of his gun. “Hugh Kensey! We have a warrant for your arrest and to search these premises!”
He knocked a second time, but there was still no response. Scully positioned herself at an angle to the door so she could cover Casper when he kicked it open.
It was dark inside; too dark to see if anyone was present or not.
Morgan got on the phone and placed some calls to Chicago. She got hold of the field office there and spoke with an Agent Harry Sabine. “Agent Sabine, I need you to get down to Chicago PD and show the picture I just emailed you to a Lt. Pete Sawyer. I need to know if that picture is of the same man that worked for him by the name of Ben Lufkin. And also verify if he spoke to a Chief Bud Calhoun from Midway, George.”
“Alright, Agent Morgan. I’ll call you as soon as I get any information.”
“You have my cell number.”
After ending the call Morgan left her office and went into AD Taylor’s office. “I think we might distribute Kensey’s picture much more widely.”
“Well, he attended LAPD’s police academy but resigned one week shy of graduation – even though he was top in his class. No explanation was given. He also applied for a job as a cop in a small town in Georgia under a different name, claiming to have worked for Chicago PD.” Before Taylor could ask her, she continued. “I’ve got an agent going to there to talk to someone and show his picture to verify it’s the same guy.”
“I know the director wanted to keep a lid on this, which is why we’re executing all the search warrants at the same time.” Taylor looked at his watch, “Which should be in about 20 minutes. Let’s see how things go after that. If necessary we’ll open the investigation up wider, okay?”
Morgan nodded. It was always a balancing act trying to figure out how much information to keep confidential and how much to release in a case like this.
Taylor frowned. “Why would someone with engineering degrees from MIT want to be a cop?”
“I’m not sure that’s what he really wanted.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, it could have just been research for him. A way to find out just how cops think and what they look for.” She shrugged. “We won’t know until we find out more or can just ask him.”
Morgan walked out of Taylor’s office. She had to get outside and get some air. Dana and the others were about to serve the warrant at Kensey’s cabin. She didn’t know if she wanted him to be there or not. If he wasn’t there Dana and John would be safer, but he’d still be on the loose. If he was there they’d be able to arrest him, but he could hurt them… or worse.
She was on the elevator headed down when her cell phone rang. She waited until the doors opened and she stepped out to answer it. The elevators in the Hoover building were notorious for wreaking havoc on reception. “Morgan.”
“Jessica? It’s Stacy.”
“What can I do for you?”
“The Director would like to see you.”
“Okay. I’m on my way.”
Morgan closed her phone, hit the up button for the elevator and waited.
“You wanted to see me, sir?”
“You know Mulder has been evaluated for these last three days.”
“Dr. Harkin has submitted his report.” The Director held a folder out to Morgan. “Take a look at it and let me know what you think.”
Morgan took the folder and opened it up. She didn’t know Dr. Carl Harkin, but had heard a few good things about him. She began to read. She couldn’t help but shake her head at the things Mulder had said and done as she turned the pages. She read a relevant passage out loud. “Axis I diagnosis: Delusional Disorder as evidenced by… Expresses an idea or belief with unusual persistence or force; that idea exerts undue influence on his life; despite his profound conviction there is a quality of secretiveness and suspicion when he is questioned about it; no matter how unlikely these strange things are happening to him, he accepts them unquestioningly; is oversensitive about the belief; any attempt to contradict the belief arouses inappropriately strong irritability and open hostility; he is emotionally overinvested in the idea and it has overwhelmed other elements of his psyche.”
She flipped the page and continued. “Axis II diagnosis: Narcissistic Personality Disorder with significant Paranoid tendencies… Subject has grandiose sense of self-importance; is preoccupied with fantasies of ideal love particularly revolving around his partner Agent Scully; believes that he is ‘special’ and unique; has a sense of entitlement; is interpersonally exploitative; and shows arrogant behaviors and attitude. Subject believes that others are exploiting and deceiving him; is preoccupied with unjustified doubts about the loyalty and trustworthiness of associates; is extremely reluctant to confide in others because of unwarranted fear that the information will be used maliciously against him; and persistently bears grudges.”
With a sigh, Morgan closed the folder. “The bastard is bloody nuts.”
The Director sighed. “So should he stay in prison or go to a mental institution?”
Morgan let out a rueful huff. “Lou, I’m not exactly dispassionate and unbiased here. He threatened my partner and my previous partner. He drugged four other agents; took shots at Scully; shot me and shot Casper! I’d like to see the asshole put away for fucking life – in either setting.” She stopped to take a deep breath and rein in her anger. “The bottom line is that while he is a very disturbed person, he’s legally sane since he acted with malice and forethought and was able to appreciate the wrongfulness of his act.” She sighed. “However, that said, I can imagine a lawyer trying to argue the insanity defense. A judge and/or jury will undoubtedly have to make that call.”
“But you think he’s sane.”
“Well, he’s been charged with hindering an investigation, terroristic threats, aggravated assault and attempted murder.”
“He’s already been arraigned?
“Yes. He was denied bail.”
Morgan nodded. “Good.”
When Morgan finished with the Director, she headed back to the elevators. A look at her watch told her it was past time for the search warrants to be executed. Well past! Why hadn’t she heard from Dana or John yet? She wanted to call Dana so bad to find out what happened and make sure she was okay. But a call at an inopportune time could get an agent killed. She suddenly understood the urge to smoke.
Morgan went out the front doors and all but growled in frustration. She paced back and forth, looking at her watch several times every minute. Still, she jumped when her phone rang.
“Agent Morgan, this is Agent Sabine.”
“I spoke to Lt. Sawyer at Chicago PD. The man in the picture is not Ben Lufkin. Lufkin is blonde and has blue eyes.”
“Does Sawyer know where Lufkin is?”
“That’s just the thing. Lufkin quit the department without notice. Just called in, said he was done, and not coming back in. When he got the chance, Sawyer went to Lufkin’s house to see him and make sure everything was okay, but his house had been cleared out and the neighbors hadn’t seen him or his wife for days. In fact, no one’s seen or heard from either of them, not even their families. Sawyer had actually been relieved to get the call from Chief Calhoun; it was the first anyone had heard anything about Lufkin.”
Morgan closed her eyes. The bastard must have killed them. “Alright, Agent Sabine. Thank you for your help.” She hung up the phone. “Fuck!”
Casper and Scully very carefully made their way inside the cabin. All their senses were on high alert. Once they determined it was empty of human life they let the sheriff know it was clear.
Shipley decided to leave a couple of deputies, Ashlee Stratton and Ryan Whitcomb, to keep an eye out and provide backup for the agents in case the suspect showed up. Also, the other two deputies, Justin Travers and Andrew Norwood, would wait at the base of the bluff where the cars were parked. He and the others were going to get Det. Whitten to the hospital. They were then going to brief the day shift about the operation and familiarize them with the information on the suspect. The sheriff was determined to not let the suspect slip through their fingers if he was within his jurisdiction.
The weather had worsened outside; lightning and thunder now accompanied the rain. Even so, Scully heard something. She strained to place the sound. It seemed to be coming from behind a wall.
“John, come here.”
Casper walked over.
“Do you hear that?”
He listened intently for a few moments. “Sounds like a generator or something.”
They began to look for any sign of a door on the wall. Moving aside a tapestry, John found it.
“Here.” But the way to open the door was not apparent. There was no doorknob… only almost indiscernible cracks showing where the panel was located.
Scully started looking around and knocked something aside on the shelf attached to the wall a couple of feet from the door. Suddenly the panel pulled back, withdrawing from the wall, and then slid aside on the other side of the wall. They exchanged looks.
“I thought that kind of shit only happened in movies,” Casper quietly said in an ironic tone. He received a one-shouldered shrug in answer.
With weapons and flashlights raised, they carefully entered the room, splitting and moving along opposite sides. Once he was sure it was clear, John found a light switch. They were both taken aback by the contents of the room.
In the corner was a generator that was quietly running. There appeared to be a pipe of some kind attached to it that led to a wall and presumably vented the exhaust somewhere outside. Next to the generator was a bank of batteries of some kind. As they watched, a dial indicating the charge level reached the fully charged mark and the generator cut off.
Then they turned their attention to a wine rack built into one wall. It was full of what appeared to be wine. Scully pulled on a latex glove and removed a random bottle.
“Oh, my god,” she breathed.
“What is it?” Casper asked.
She read the label to him. “Katherine Horne; Seattle, Washington; June 1990.” Scully held the bottle up so Casper could see the contents – blood. She put it back and pulled a few others at random. “Sonya Copeland; Abilene, Texas; November 1987. Melody Adams; De Soto, Illinois; April 1989. Annie Jensen; Branchville, South Carolina; September 1998.” She paused and stared at the rack. “These are his victims.”
Casper was stunned. “There must be close to a hundred of them.”
“It looks like they started in 1987. He’s been killing for at least 12 years.”
Morgan was back in her office. She was standing at the window staring out at nothing. It had been an hour since the warrants were executed. She still hadn’t heard from Dana or John. She just about jumped out of her skin when her cell phone sounded.
“Jess, it’s me.”
Jess audibly let out a breath she felt she’d been holding in for hours. “Thank God! Is everything okay? It’s been an hour since the warrants were served.”
Dana felt warmed, and little amused, by her lover’s obvious concern. “We were behind schedule because we ran into some difficulty. It’s nothing but thick mud up here due to the heavy rain that’s been falling since before dawn. And we missed the entrance to the property twice before someone finally saw it.” She let out a small sigh. “He’s not here, Jess, but we did find something.”
Scully told her about the generator and battery setup. Then she told her about the wine rack full of bottles of blood.
Jess sat down heavily in a chair at the worktable. “Fuck.”
“Hey! What’s going on out there?”
“Dana? What’s wrong?” Jess’s heart stopped when the call was suddenly disconnected.
Casper and Scully rushed out of the room to see what the commotion was. Deputy Stratton and Deputy Whitcomb were struggling with – well, wrestling with – a mud-covered man to the side of the cabin. Ashlee Stratton ended up taking a punch to the jaw before she and Whitcomb got the slippery man cuffed and subdued. Both deputies were covered in mud.
“I was looking around the area and found what appeared to be a hidden storm cellar,” Stratton reported to the agents. “Inside was a storage area… and him.”
Casper stepped off the small porch and approached the subdued man who was on his knees. He took out a handkerchief and wiped away most of the mud caking his face. Casper turned back to Scully. “It’s him,” he said in a cold, disdainful tone.
“Read him his rights,” Scully told the deputies. She didn’t want anything to interfere with the successful prosecution of the man. She lifted her phone back up to her ear but it was dead. The battery had died. “Shit.” She noticed Stratton was tenderly touching her jaw where she’d been hit. “Come here, Stratton; let me take a look at that.”
“I’m fine, Agent Scully.”
“I’m a doctor, so why don’t I decide that,” Scully said with just enough authority to get the young woman moving.
Ashlee came up on the porch and let Scully check her out.
“When we get back, make sure you put some ice on it to keep the swelling from getting too bad. You’ll have quite the bruise, but that’s all.”
Scully stepped back inside with Casper. “John, can I borrow your phone? My battery died while I was on the phone to Jess.”
“I’m surprised she hasn’t–” His phone rang, cutting him off.
Morgan chastised herself. Dana was a capable agent and John was there to cover her back. She did not need Jess to babysit her. But… Damn it! What the hell was going on and why was Dana’s call disconnected?
She held out as long as she could. She called Casper’s phone.
John didn’t even answer when he saw who the caller was. With a smile he handed his phone to Dana.
Dana opened it. “Jess, it’s me. Everything’s alright,” she assured her lover.
“What the hell happened?”
“The battery on my phone died.” She smiled, “And we’ve got Kensey in custody,” she said with satisfaction in her voice.
“What? I thought you said he wasn’t there.”
“One of the deputies found a hidden bunker. He was apparently hiding in with his supplies.” She heard Jess let out a sigh. She could just picture Jess sinking into a chair and a huge weight lifting from her shoulders. “We did it, Jess. We got him,” she said softly.
Dana didn’t miss the heavy emotion in Jess’s voice. “You okay, Jess?”
“Yeah. I’ll go tell Taylor and the Director. I’ll let you know how they want to handle transport.”
“Alright. I’ll talk to you later then.”
Jess hung up her phone and slumped in her desk chair. A painful lump quickly formed in her throat and the backs of her eyes stung. This had been such a rough case, such an emotional roller coaster. Staying and working the case through had not been her usual routine during the last three years. But knowing Kensey was in custody was so satisfying and such a relief. The release of so much of the tension of the last six weeks was almost painful.
Finally, she wiped her moist eyes, stood up and walked out of her office. She walked into AD Ben Taylor’s office. “We got him,” she said without preamble.
“Scully and Casper have Kensey in custody. We got him, Ben.”
The big man felt stunned. They had all hoped for it of course, but they had tried to keep their hopes from getting too high. The man was wealthy, a chameleon, and could have so easily escaped to another country… one without extradition. He stood up and came out from behind his desk. He couldn’t keep from giving Morgan a comradely hug, which she returned. He let go of her and gave her a congratulatory slap on the back. “Let’s go tell them,” he said with nod out his doorway and towards the bullpen.
It was after 5:00, but their job wasn’t a 9-5 job, so just about everyone from the taskforce not already in the field or due in for the night shift, was present.
“Ladies, gentlemen! I’d like your attention, please,” Taylor called out. He waited while those on the phone either put the other party on hold, or ended their calls. When he had everyone’s attention he turned things over to Morgan. “Agent Morgan has an announcement.”
All eyes shifted to her. “Hugh Kensey is in custody! Agents Scully and Casper found him at his property in Illinois.”
A collective cheer went up. Taylor allowed it to go on for a few seconds before calming things down. “Alright, people, job well done. But it’s not over yet. We all know we have to dot every ‘I’ and cross every ‘T’. There are still avenues of investigation for us to follow before we close the case.”
Another cheer went up. Morgan and Taylor headed to the elevators. They were going up to tell the Director the good news.
Scully heard the deputies’ raised voices outside when she hung up from talking to Jess. She went back out on the porch. What she saw was the prisoner belly down in the mud. Deputy Stratton had her right knee on Kensey’s back between his shoulder blades, her left shin across his neck, and with a hand on each of his wrists was lifting them up and away from his body to put pressure on his shoulders and discourage further struggling. Meanwhile, Deputy Whitcomb was across Kensey’s legs immobilizing them.
“What’s going on?” Scully asked.
“Sorry, ma’am, the prisoner is being very uncooperative and combative,” Whitcomb reported. “I’ve contacted Travers and Norwood at the cars below. They’re bringing up the transport shackles.”
“We’ve got it under control, ma’am,” added Stratton as she tweaked his arms up a little further and elicited a yelp from Kensey.
An auburn eyebrow arched. “I see that,” Scully said with a touch of amusement.
Stacy Drexler knew something was up when Taylor and Morgan arrived at the Director’s office. “He’s on a phone call right now. I’ll let him know you’re here as soon as he’s done,” she said.
The two took seats in the outer office. About five minutes later Stacy got up and knocked on the Director’s door before entering his inner office. She came right back out.
“He’ll see you now.”
Morgan and Taylor walked into the Director’s office.
“What can I do for you two?”
Taylor smiled. “It’s what we can do for you.”
At the Director’s confused look Morgan explained. “We got him, Lou.”
His face lit up. “What? Where?”
“Casper and Scully found him in Illinois and have him in custody.”
The Director leaned back in his chair as he let out a deep breath. “How sure are we it’s really him?”
“Scully said they found a secret room at his cabin. In it was a wine rack with about a hundred bottles – each labeled with a name and place… and filled with blood.”
“Jesus.” He sighed. “Alright, we need everything to be done perfectly.”
Taylor nodded. “I already reminded everyone that we need to dot the ‘I’s and cross the ‘T’s. We’re not done until all avenues of the investigation are completed.”
“If I may make a suggestion?” Morgan asked.
“Fly a forensics team in from St. Louis. Have them take control of the scene. And use one of the Bureau’s jets to go pick him up and fly him back, avoiding a commercial flight.”
The Director looked up at Morgan, thinking. He knew what was going through her mind. Using a Bureau jet was a good idea, but he knew what was her next suggestion was going to be. So, he took his time before responding. Finally he spoke. “Alright.” He looked at Taylor. “Make the arrangements for the forensics team.”
“Yes, sir.” Taylor left since the Director’s tone had made it clear he was being dismissed. He pulled the office door closed behind him.
Morgan suspected what the Director wanted to talk about. She sat down in one of the chairs and looked him in the eyes. “I’m fine, Lou.”
“Less than five days ago you were shot; two days ago you were still in the hospital.”
“So you’re saying I can’t go out on the plane to get him.”
He sighed heavily. He felt torn about it. He was the one who had personally approached Jessica and asked her to come back to the Bureau. And he was, of course, the one who assigned her to this case. He also knew her well enough to know how much she’d put into the case. Finally, he spoke.
“I’m going to ask you a question, and I trust you to answer honestly.”
Morgan frowned. “You know I will, Lou.”
He nodded. “I know you’ll be honest with me… I need you to be honest with yourself.” When she nodded he continued. “Are you really up to going out there?”
“Yes, I am, Lou.”
After a couple of beats he nodded. “Alright. I’ll clear the use of a Gulfstream. I’ll let you know when it’s ready. In the meantime, let Casper and Scully know what’s going on.”
“I will.” She stood up and turned to go, but paused at the doorway, turning back. “Thank you, Lou.”
Travers and Norwood arrived on one of the ATVs. The four deputies proceeded to place Kensey in the transport shackles, which consisted of a leather belt and chain around his waist, cuffs, and leg shackles which were in turn connected to the belt with chains. They then set him down on his ass in the mud, keeping him under close guard. With his feet restricted to only about 18 inches of movement, he wasn’t going to be going anywhere quickly or gracefully.
With the prisoner properly subdued, two of the deputies began shuttling the ATVs back down the bluff since they would be needed by the forensics team to come up. When they were done one ATV remained up top, so that the two deputies that would be staying to secure the area until the team arrived would have a way back down.
Casper answered his ringing phone. “Casper… Hey, Jessica… Good, good… Okay, I’ll tell Dana… Anything else?… Okay. Bye.” He stepped into the room where Dana was writing down the name, date and town on each wine bottle label in her notepad. “Jessica called. She said the Director’s approved the use of a Gulfstream to transport Kensey back.”
“Good. I really wasn’t looking forward to transporting him on a commercial flight. Did she say when the plane would arrive?”
“No, she doesn’t know yet, but I’d be surprised if it’s before morning.” Casper glanced at his watch. “You about ready to head down?”
Scully sighed. “Yes. Though I’m not exactly looking forward to trudging down in all that mud.”
All of a sudden they noticed the quiet – the rain had stopped.
Casper smiled. “Well at least the rain stopped.”
Just as the group was about to leave, a helicopter flew overhead. Since St. Louis was only about 75 miles from their location by air, the forensics team was already arriving. The helicopter was going to land in a field just across Rt. 3 from the turnoff for Happy Hollow Rd. And since the team was already there, it was decided only one deputy would remain at the cabin – Deputy Norwood.
Because of the shackles and the slippery mud, two deputies were going to have to hold onto the prisoner, one on each arm. Which left the third deputy and the agents to cover them. It was going to be a long walk down. So, with Stratton on one arm, and Whitcomb on the other, the group started down.
Their progress was slow and slippery as they made their way back. It was over a mile back to the cars. And besides having to deal with the mud there were also lots of large, uneven rocks. Not a single person escaped landing in the mud at least once, or getting scratched or dinged on the rocks. However, it was Stratton and Whitcomb that had it hardest. With the transport shackles, the prisoner often times couldn’t keep his footing. So they ended up picking him up and/or being pulled down with him.
In the meantime, the ATVs, carrying the forensics personnel, passed them on their way up.
It was a motley crew that arrived at the cars at the base of the bluff. The deputies muscled the struggling, though still silent, prisoner into the backseat of one of the department cruisers. Travers grabbed a rain poncho from his trunk and placed it on the driver’s seat of his cruiser to keep from messing it up. Since they were almost as muddy as the prisoner, Stratton and Whitcomb decided to ride back to the department together, so only one of the cruises got messed up. They were so muddy a couple of ponchos wouldn’t make a difference, so they were kind enough to loan their ponchos to Casper and Scully to protect their rental car seats.
“Thank you for the poncho,” Scully said.
“No problem, ma’am,” replied Stratton.
“But why didn’t you wear your rain ponchos today?”
Ashlee smiled, “They aren’t safe to wear on the ATVs. They could get caught.”
Scully nodded. “I see your point. We’ll follow you back to the office.”
Only a couple of miles down the road, Casper and Scully exchanged a surprised look when they saw Kensey’s feet suddenly came through the back driver’s side window. The patrol car quickly pulled over onto the side of the road. Casper pulled up behind them. By the time he and Scully got out of their car and approached the patrol car, Deputy Stratton and Deputy Whitcomb had managed to remove the kicking and flailing man from the back seat. Despite getting kicked a couple of times, the deputies managed to reconnect the chain to the shackles to the back of the belt and shortened it, effectively hogtieing him and preventing any further kicking. They literally picked him up and put him back in the back seat on his stomach.
Both cars were soon on their way down the road again.
At the sheriff’s department, the deputies pulled up and into the sally port. The outer door was lowered and Whitcomb went inside to enlist the aid of a couple of the jailers. The prisoner was taken in; strip-searched and made to shower. Once he was cleared of the mud, he was given a black and white striped jumpsuit. He was then placed in an isolation cell. There he would stay until the feds transported him back to DC.
While the jailers got Kensey settled, Casper and Scully took care of the paperwork. That done, they finally headed back to the hotel to get cleaned up and put on clean clothes. They met for a late dinner and then returned to their respective rooms. Scully plugged in her dead cell phone to charge.
Dana’s cell phone woke her up.
“Hey, it’s me.”
Dana smiled. “Hey, Jess.”
“Sorry if I woke you.”
“No, no. I’m glad you called. Any word on the plane?” she asked taking care of business first.
Jess smiled. “You’ll be able to fly back tomorrow.”
“How was your day?”
“Could have been worse. I’m afraid I got mud in places I didn’t know I had places,” she said with some mirth. “I took a shower before dinner and a long bath before going to bed. I’m still not sure I got it all.”
“Really? Well, perhaps someone should make sure.”
Dana’s eyebrow arched in reflex. “And just who would you recommend for the job?” she said playfully.
“Hmm, good question.” Jess’s tone changed from playful to seductive. “I’m available for the job.”
Dana’s heart fluttered and she felt warmed. “If only you really were. I wish you were here.”
“Close your eyes and listen to my voice.” She paused for a beat. “Are your eyes closed, Dana?”
Eyes closed, Dana smiled. “Yes, they are,” she answered softly.
“Good. Imagine me there; sitting next to you, on the edge of the bed. I reach down and oh so tenderly caress your cheek with the back of my fingers. As your breath slightly quickens, I lean down and place a soft kiss on your other cheek. I take a deep breath, taking in your natural scent. I kiss along your jaw line until I get to your ear. Then I breathe softly into your ear, ‘I love you.’ I pull back to look into your bright, blue eyes, before claiming your lips in a long, slow, deep kiss.” Jess could hear Dana’s breathing change.
A small whimper escaped Dana throat as she pictured, and felt, Jess there with her. “God, Jess… I wish you were here!”
“Open your door.”
Dana frowned. “What?”
“Get out of bed and open your door.” Jess snapped her phone shut and waited as she heard Dana’s footsteps approach the door.
Dana unhooked the chain and opened the door to see Jess standing there with a beautiful, soft smile. She shot her hand out, grabbed Jess by the arm and quickly pulled her inside. Kicking the door shut she shoved Jess up against the wall and kissed her hungrily. Jess dropped her bag and wrapped her arms around Dana, holding her close, as she returned her kiss with equal fervor.
After a minute or so, Jess reached down with her left arm and scooped Dana’s legs up. As they continued to kiss she carried Dana to the bed and laid her down on it. She laid down on top of her, but quickly found herself rolled over onto her back as Dana kissed and nuzzled her neck and throat.
Dana’s deft hands made quick work of Jess’s clothes. Her pajamas quickly followed them onto the floor. When Jess started to roll Dana over again, the redhead put her hands on Jess’s shoulders and pressed down as she lifted her head to look at her. “Not this time,” she said.
The next thing Jess knew was that Dana’s fingers were inside her, moving and stimulating all those special places. She let out a moan which Dana swallowed as she reclaimed her mouth in a passionate kiss. Jess was completely lost in the sensations Dana was creating with her hands, lips and tongue. When Dana trailed kisses down to her breasts she sunk her hands in her fiery tresses. Every nerve in her body was alive. She was so close!
Dana could tell from the way Jess’s warm channel clenched at her fingers that her lover was close to coming. She settled her full weight on top of Jess and nipped at her earlobe. “That’s it… come for me, Jess… come for me because you’re mine…”
Dana’s hotly whispered words, especially her words of possessiveness, were like gasoline on fire. The heat within exploded, drowning out all thoughts, all words, all sounds. She didn’t even hear her own primal cry as her orgasm rocked her to the core.
Lying on top of Jess as she came was a like a thrill ride. Her body writhed and bucked, threatening to dislodge Dana. She simply held on and drew out Jess’s orgasm as long as she could. Finally the brunette collapsed into the mattress as her oxygen-starved body gasped for air. Dana gently withdrew her fingers, cleaned them with her tongue, and pulled Jess to her as she rolled to the side. She tenderly caressed a cheek as she gazed into the face of her lover… her lover who had fainted.
When Jess came to, she settled into Dana’s embrace. There was so much she wanted to say, but her mind had turned to mush. Only one thought made it past the fog of befuddlement. “I love you, Dana,” she whispered. She felt her lover’s arms tighten around her and her lips press a kiss to her forehead.
“I love you, too, Jess.”
She took a slow, deep breath. “Guess I passed out.” She didn’t mistake the feel of Dana’s lips curling into a smile where they rested against her forehead. As blood flow slowly returned to parts of her brain she pulled back just enough to be able to look at Dana. “Feeling proud of ourselves, are we?”
Dana blushed but didn’t contain her smile or the mirth in her eyes. “Actually…”
Jess chuckled lightly as she laid her head back on Dana’s shoulder. “You should be… That’s never happened to me before.”
Dana answered with a squeeze of her arms. “Well, I guess we’re even then, since it never happened to me before yesterday morning in the shower.”
Jess shifted to lean on her elbow and look down at Dana. “Do you have any idea what you do to me?”
Dana gazed intently into sparkling grey eyes. “I hope it’s half of what you do to me.” She took Jess’s hand and placed it palm down over her heart, covering it with her own. “I feel alive with you, Jess.”
Jess’s insides were flooded with a soul-warming heat. She lowered her head and gently captured Dana’s mouth with her own. She spent the best part of the next hour worshipping her lover.
Dana woke and found herself wrapped around and spooning Jess. Yes, she loved being held by Jess, but it felt just as good to hold the younger woman as well. Whether in Jess’s arms, or Jess in hers, being with her was the way things were supposed to be. She knew that with a certainty that came from her soul. “I love you, Jess,” she whispered before placing a kiss on her shoulder.
Jess woke up just in time to hear Dana’s softly whispered words. She pressed back against the warm and curvy body behind her. “I love you, too,” she sleepily replied. She felt Dana’s arm tighten around her. “Is it time to get up yet?”
Dana glanced over her shoulder at the clock radio. “Not yet.”
“Good. I don’t want to move.”
Dana nuzzled her neck.
“Mmmm…” Jess smiled.
“Do you want to go back to sleep?”
Jess let out an amused chuckle. “Like that’s likely to happen – especially with you fondling my breast.”
Dana stopped squeezing the breast in her hand. “I can stop.”
Jess shifted, turning in Dana’s arms to face her. “Not unless you want to.”
Dana looked deep into sparkling grey eyes. “I don’t want to stop. I like touching you,” she replied as her hand traveled down Jess’s side and rested on her hip.
Jess leaned into Dana. “And I like the way you touch me,” she whispered before their lips met in a kiss. She moaned as Dana’s hands sought out and found all the places that made her melt.
When the alarm did go off the two women got up. Dana quirked an eyebrow as she watched Jess pull on her clothes from the night before. Jess smiled when she saw her lover’s expression. “I’m going to go to my room and take a shower.” With a deliberate look at Dana’s state of undress she added, “Because if I don’t, I doubt either of us will be ready on time.” She picked up her bag. “I’ll meet you and John in the restaurant.”
Dana returned her smile. “You’re probably right. See you shortly.” She turned and entered the bathroom.
John was surprised to see Jessica walk into the restaurant. He stood up as she approached the table and gave her a quick hug before they both sat down. “What are you doing here?”
“I came on the transport plane. I thought I might take a crack at Kensey on the way back; see if I can get him to talk.”
“He’s been pretty combative and uncooperative.” He paused for a beat. “And does the Director know you’re here?” he asked with a suspicious tone.
“That is a good question,” Dana added as she arrived.
Jess smiled at both her companions. “Yes, I have the Director’s permission to be here. I just wish the plane could have been ready sooner than it was.”
“When do you want to pick up Kensey and fly out?” John asked.
“Doesn’t really matter. All you really need to do is drop me and pilots off at the airport on the way so we’re ready for you when you pick up Kensey.”
“Southern Illinois. I’m sure you’ve seen the sign. It’s about halfway between here and Murphysboro on Route 13.”
Jess looked up and saw the two pilots enter. She waved them over. She made the introductions all around. Agent Marks and Agent Denison joined them for breakfast.
After breakfast all the agents checked out of the hotel and left.
Kensey changed into the orange jumpsuit of a federal prisoner and was then placed into transport shackles – both of which were provided by the feds. Once Casper took care of all the necessary paperwork, two deputies, with Kensey in the back of the patrol car, followed Casper and Scully to the airport.
A strategy had been worked out at breakfast. Even though Kensey had been combative and uncooperative, he had been completely silent, refusing to speak a single word. Morgan was going to try to use their similar backgrounds to break through that silence and to get him talking.
Morgan was not on the plane when they arrived. She waited in the terminal, watching. Inside the plane Casper placed Kensey in a seat and secured his seatbelt.
Casper turned to Scully. “Any sign of her yet?”
“I still don’t see why we have to wait for her,” he said in an irritated tone.
“She’s here at the request of the Director himself.”
Casper waved his hand dismissively. “Well if we’ve got to sit around on our asses waiting for her I’m going to have something to drink. You want something?” he asked as he passed her on his way into the small galley.
“No thank you.”
The copilot, Denison, was pouring himself a cup of fresh coffee in galley.
Casper stuck his head back out. “There’s fresh coffee if you want it, Scully.”
“No thank you.”
Casper came back with a glass filled with contents made to look like scotch.
Scully gave him a disdainful look. “You know better than that, Casper.”
He again waved her off dismissively.
Casper gave Kensey a sneer. “Oh, do you want a cup of coffee or a cigarette while we’re waiting?”
The pilot, Agent Marks, came back. “She’s here, so we’ll be taking off in just a few minutes.”
“Thank you,” Scully replied. She shot a dirty look at Casper who quickly downed his drink.
Both Scully and Casper stood when Morgan entered the plane.
“Welcome aboard, ma’am. It’s a pleasure having you aboard. I’m Agent Marks, your pilot. Agent Denison is my copilot today. If you need anything, please don’t hesitate to let us know,” the pilot said in greeting before closing the hatch behind her. “If you make yourself comfortable we’ll be taking off in only a few minutes. Unfortunately we do not have a flight attendant for this flight; however, once we are at altitude you make help yourself to the refreshments available in the galley.”
Marks returned to the cockpit. Scully and Casper each stood and introduced themselves and shook her hand in turn.
With the plane at altitude Morgan released her seatbelt and approached Kensey. She looked him in the eyes and gave him a nod of respect. “Hugh, it’s good to see you again.”
He looked up at her in confusion. “Excuse me?”
“You may not remember me, but we met about 20 years ago… at one of the socials MIT and Harvard held for their younger students. I’m Jessica Morgan – my father was Philippe Rodier.”
He frowned in thought for a few moments, but then a look of recognition came over his face. “Oh, yes, the Rodiers of Vancouver. My family owns some stock in Rodier International.”
She nodded. “That’s right, and my accountant would be glad to hear that,” she said with small smile.
“I remember you. Didn’t you leave Harvard in ‘82 to take a Rhodes scholarship?”
She nodded. “I graduated in ‘82. I took the Rhodes scholarship to pursue a degree in Theology and Religious Studies,” she replied, surprised he’d remembered.
He cocked his head to the side. “You didn’t come to very many of the socials.”
She smiled softly. “No I didn’t.”
He smiled roguishly. “As I recall, you were quite taken with a certain Vanessa Turner.”
Morgan arched an eyebrow and smirked. “As were you, I believe.”
Kensey laughed. “True! Great minds do think alike, don’t they?”
After a shared laugh Morgan gestured to a small table toward the back of the cabin. “Let’s sit back here where we can have a little bit of privacy.”
Because of the transport shackles, Kensey struggled to undo his seatbelt and to stand.
“Hold on, Hugh.” Morgan called to Casper. “Agent Casper, come undo these shackles.”
“I don’t think that’s a good idea, ma’am.”
“I didn’t ask you if it was a good idea, Agent, I gave you an order. Where’s he going to go? We’re on a plane several thousand feet in the air. All three of us are armed. He’ll still be cuffed. There’s no need for the shackles.”
“You don’t understand, ma’am. The prisoner has been violent and uncooperative while in custody. He kicked out a window of a sheriff’s patrol car and had to be hobbled as a result.”
Morgan looked at Kensey in surprise. “Did you really?”
Kensey actually looked a little embarrassed and sheepish. He nodded.
She looked him in the eyes. “Will you give me your word you won’t try anything, Hugh?”
“I give you my word, Jessica,” he said solemnly.
“Alright.” She looked at Casper. “Remove the shackles.”
“Agent Casper, either remove the shackles or give me the key so that I can. There are no car windows present for the man to kick out, and he has given me his word not to try anything in any event.”
Casper put on a show of reluctantly following her orders. That done, Morgan and Kensey moved to the small table, sitting opposite of each other.
“Hugh, I’m sure you understand that I need to ask you some questions.”
He nodded. “I know.”
“Before we get started, would you like something to drink?”
“He offered me some coffee… and said I could have a cigarette.”
“Well that was rude of him, since you don’t smoke or drink coffee,” she said with smirk. She leaned to the side to look around Kensey. “Casper, get us some tea,” she called out.
“There’s some fresh coffee in the galley,” he replied.
Morgan stood up and marched over to Casper. “Agent Casper, I don’t know what your problem is, but I’ve had enough of your insolence. And don’t think I haven’t noticed the alcohol on your breath! When we land you will surrender your badge and weapon and consider yourself on suspension until further notice. Now, get your ass in the galley and get us some tea – two cups, hot, and one empty cup, please.”
As Casper went into the galley Morgan returned to her seat. “I’m sorry, Hugh. You know how hard it is to find quality help.”
He sighed and nodded in agreement.
Scully watched everything in silence. Even though they had discussed their strategy that morning at breakfast, she was a little surprised that Kensey had already broken his self-imposed silence to speak to Jess. But she had already established a tentative rapport with him. Having the same socio-economic and education background had certainly been a factor, as had their shared experience of being gifted students.
Casper returned with two cups of hot tea and an empty cup.
“Is there any lemon?” Morgan asked.
She exchanged a look of disappointment with Kensey. “Sorry, Hugh.”
He shrugged, as if to say he wasn’t surprised. When Morgan carefully placed her teabag in the empty cup between them he gave her a surprised look.
“What? You didn’t think I would squeeze the bag did you, releasing the tannic acid into my tea?”
He smiled as he removed his own teabag and placed it in the cup. “I shouldn’t have doubted someone of your breeding and intelligence.”
Several moments were spent in silence sipping their tea. Morgan knew exactly what she wanted to accomplish. Even though they had a lot of evidence to prove Hugh Kensey was the Reaper, she wanted a confession so he didn’t plead insanity in a trial. Finally she broke the silence.
“Did they inform you of your rights, Hugh?”
He waved his hand dismissively. “I know my rights.”
“Are you willing to talk to me then?”
Morgan reached into her jacket pocket and withdrew a microcassette recorder. She pushed record and set it on the table. “This is Special Agent Jessica R. Morgan, badge number JTT0330703, interviewing Mr. Hugh Kensey. Today is Sunday March 28th, 1999. Mr. Kensey has been advised of his rights and is voluntarily answering questions without the presence of a lawyer.” She looked at him. “Would you please verify that, Hugh, for the record?”
“Of course. This is Hugh Kensey; I know my rights and am willing to answer any questions posed to me by Jessica Morgan.” He paused. “But only by her,” he added, then smiled. “How’s that?”
“That’s fine, Hugh.” She paused for two or three beats. “When was the first time you killed, Hugh?”
“Animal or human?”
Not expecting him to be quite so forthcoming, Morgan fought to keep her expression impassive. “Animal.”
“When I was seven. I hated the neighbor’s dog. It was an annoying, yippy, little thing. One day I’d just had enough of its incessant yip yapping. I snapped its neck. There was something so satisfying about it.”
“What did you do with the body?”
“Tossed it in their back porch,” he replied with a nonchalant shrug.
Morgan frowned. “But you grew up in Manhattan, Hugh, on Park Avenue.”
“Oh, this was in the summer, in the Hamptons.”
“I see. And when was the first the time you killed a human?”
Kensey didn’t answer; he appeared lost in thought.
“Do you remember Calvin Thibodeau? You probably met him at one of the socials that first year. Dirty blonde, blue eyes, horn rim glasses, lanky.”
Morgan nodded slowly.
“When did you see your first dead body, Jessica?”
“My mother; I was six.”
“But that was at the funeral, right?”
“When was the first the time you saw a body, before it was made to look ‘pretty?’” he asked using finger quotes.
“I was 21.”
“Calvin was the first one I saw.”
Morgan’s eyes widened. “Are you saying you killed him?”
“No. He killed himself; I found him. He hung himself in the lab the night we were suppose to finish our project for Professor Kensington’s class.”
“I’m sorry you had to go through that, Hugh.”
He shrugged. “No big deal. He was weak; he couldn’t take the pressure.” A second shrug. “I thought it would have been interesting to autopsy the body.”
The guy had no feelings whatsoever about the suicide of his lab partner. He really was a psychopath!
“When did you start killing, Hugh?”
“The first time was in ‘87… it was an accident really. Crystal Norris.”
Morgan flipped through the names Scully had written down. “I don’t see that name as one of the ones labeled on the bottles, Hugh.”
“No, it’s not. Like I said, it was an accident really. The ones on the bottles were planned.”
The flight time to DC – well, Baltimore-Washington International – was an hour and a half. However, at a signal from Morgan, Scully got up and went to the cockpit to tell the pilots to circle until further notice. As long as Kensey was talking, Morgan was going to get all she could from him. And the Gulfstream could stay in the air up to ten hours if necessary.
For over seven hours Kensey sat and told Morgan about the women he’d murdered. Finally Morgan gave the signal to have the plane land. When they landed Morgan ushered Kensey out of the plane and into the back of the waiting vehicle – without the shackles. He’d given her his word he wouldn’t try anything. And she believed him… at least as long as she was present. She had no doubt that if she wasn’t present that Kensey would be completely uncooperative.
As the SUV pulled away from the plane he turned to her. “Just out of curiosity, it was you that figured out about my refuge, wasn’t it?”
She shrugged. “It was the only piece of property you tried to hide, Hugh.” She gave him a hard look. “But did you really have rig booby traps. A detective was injured, could have been killed.”
He looked surprised. “I haven’t set any of the booby traps in years. Which one tripped?”
“A piece of rebar just about impaled him near the heart – would have if he hadn’t been wearing Kevlar.”
Kensey shook his head in thought. “That shouldn’t have happened. I swear, Jessica. After the first couple of years and no sign of anyone knowing I was up there, I stopped setting the traps. Hell, the only reason I wasn’t inside the cabin when they showed up is because I went to the storage cellar for some soup.”
“And what would you have done if you had been in the cabin? I understand you put up quite a fight. And then you kicked out the backseat window of a deputy’s car.”
Kensey actually looked sheepish. “I had always thought if I was caught I’d just accept it.” He shrugged. “But after almost 12 years and no one even coming close to catching me I guess it took me by surprise and kind of pissed me off.”
Kensey shrugged. “I went almost 12 years without anyone even coming close. And I didn’t leave any incriminating evidence behind. Not many can say that.”
“No, not many can say that.”
“Tell me, Jessica, how long have you been after me?” he asked with genuine curiosity.
“I was brought in six weeks ago today.”
She shrugged. “I might have found you sooner but I was distracted by someone who pretended to be you.”
“It’s not important.”
“Actually, I was thinking six weeks was damn good considering how careful I was. Well done,” he said with a smile.
At the Maryland Correctional Adjustment Center Morgan accompanied Kensey as far through the booking process as she was allowed.
She turned back when he called out to her.
“It was good to see you again.”
“Try to behave, Hugh,” she replied with a nod.
He nodded and she left.
Dana took one look at Jess when she exited the prison and knew she’d reached her limit. She walked up to Jess and wrapped her arms around her. “It’s over,” she whispered in her ear. She tightened her arms around Jess as she felt the woman sag a little. “Come on, let’s get out of here.”
“He headed back to the office.” Dana opened the passenger side door for Jess before getting in the driver’s seat. She looked over at Jess before starting the car. “John called Taylor when we landed at the airport. The Director was with him who said to take the morning off.”
“I thought that since we were in Baltimore anyway we could have that dinner with my mom, but I think I’ll call her back and cancel.”
Jess reached out and put her hand over Dana’s. “No, don’t cancel, Dana. It’s early and I like your mom.”
Dana turned her hand under Jess’s and gave it a squeeze. “Are you sure?”
When Maggie opened her front door she gave her daughter a hug. Then she got a look at her daughter’s new friend. Jess looked like she was about to drop. She pulled the young woman into a warm hug. She exchanged a look with her daughter that clearly expressed her concern.
Dana nodded, letting her mother know that while she was concerned about Jess she’d be okay.
With her arm around Jess’s waist, Maggie ushered them inside. “You look like you’re ready to drop, Jess. Come in and rest while I finish making dinner.”
“I’m fine, Mrs. Scully.”
“Now you know better than that! It’s Maggie.”
Jess smiled. “Sorry. And I’m just a little tired, Maggie. It’s been a long day.”
“Do you need some help with dinner, Mom?”
“No, no. You two just make yourself comfortable.” Maggie disappeared into the kitchen.
Dana and Jess sat on the couch.
“Are you sure you’re alright, Jess?”
“Yeah. Kensey was just…” She sighed.
“A sick bastard.”
She nodded. “A true psychopath. He has absolutely no remorse, no feelings about killing at all. Nothing would have stopped him. And he was perfect, Dana. He didn’t leave any evidence behind. By all rights we shouldn’t have caught him. The only reason we did is because we caught a lucky break with a nanny cam.” She let out a slow breath. “I really do need a break from dealing with these guys.”
Suddenly her phone rang.
“Morgan… Just a second.” Jess looked at Dana as she stood up. “Would you excuse me, Dana?”
After Jess walked outside to take the call Dana went into the kitchen.
“Dana, are you sure Jess is alright?” Maggie asked.
“Yes. She’s just had an extremely long day interrogating a psychopathic serial killer for over seven hours straight.”
“Anything I can help you with?”
“Nope. The chicken is in the oven; we just need to wait for it to cook.”
They walked back out to the living room.
“She stepped outside to take a call.”
Just then Jess came back in from outside. “Sorry about that.”
“Everything okay?” Dana asked since Jess looked a little shell-shocked.
“Yeah. That was the Director. You know he’s been trying to get me to Quantico.”
“Well, he said that wasn’t my only choice. He just offered me my choice of three SAC postings.”
“Miami, San Francisco and London.”
Dana’s eyes widened. All prime postings… and all some distance from DC. “Wow. Those are all choice postings.”
“What exactly is a SAC?” Maggie asked.
“It’s a Special Agent in Charge. They command a field office,” Dana answered her mother.
“And the FBI has field offices overseas?”
“Well, actually they’re legal attaché offices within American embassies rather than field offices,” Jess explained.
Maggie looked at Jess as she sat down. “Would you want to go overseas?”
Jess took a deep breath and let it out slowly. “I think the Director offered me London because he knows I have home there.”
“It was my grandfather’s.”
“Well, it sounds like you have quite a decision to make. Congratulations.”
“Thank you, Maggie.”
“How soon do you have to give him your decision?” Dana asked.
Jess looked at her lover and smiled. “Not until after I get back from vacation.”
“Oh, you’re taking a vacation?” Maggie asked.
“Yes.” She chuckled. “I think I shocked the Director. I haven’t taken a vacation in years.”
“You sound like my daughter.”
“Well it’s true,” Maggie quipped.
“Actually, I’ve invited Dana to go on vacation with me, Maggie.”
Maggie looked at her daughter. “Are you going to go?”
Dana felt herself blush. “Yes, I am.”
“Good!” Maggie said with a smile. “You’re long overdue for a vacation.”
After dinner Dana and Jess drove back to DC. Despite wanting to talk to Jess about what posting she was thinking about taking, Dana recognized Jess’s need to decompress from the very stressful day. So they made the journey in a comfortable and companionable silence.
As soon as they entered the apartment Dana reached out and caught Jess’s hand. Jess turned and looked at her.
“Why don’t you go and get undressed while I start a hot bath for you?”
Jess was touched by the offer. “That would be wonderful. Thank you.”
Dana went into the bathroom and started a hot bath, adding some bubble bath to the water, while Jess entered the bedroom and undressed. Jess slipped on a robe and entered the bathroom, a little surprised not to find Dana present. When the water reached the correct level she turned off the water and shed her robe. She let out a sigh as she carefully eased herself down into the large claw foot tub full of steamy water and bubbles. She closed her eyes and laid her head back. After a couple of minutes she opened her eyes when she heard Dana’s voice.
“Mind if I join you?” Dana was wearing a robe and holding a tray with an opened bottle of wine and two wineglasses.
Jess smiled widely. “Not at all.”
Dana pulled over a small stand and set the tray on it. She then shed her robe and slipped into the tub behind Jess. After pouring two glasses of wine and handing one to Jess she pulled the brunette back against her, kissing her temple.
“Mmmm, this is nice. Thank you.”
“You had quite a day.”
Jess closed her eyes and allowed herself to fully settle against Dana. “God, to sit there and listen to him recount every one of the murders so dispassionately as if they were nothing…”
Dana tightened her arms around Jess. “They weren’t nothing. They were 98 women who were loved and are missed by their families.”
“Those are just the ones he planned and took blood from.”
“What do you mean?”
“The first one wasn’t planned; a woman named Crystal Norris. He killed her in his office at Boeing. When he got away with it without any questions he quit and started planning and executing murders.”
“Well, he was flawless.”
“Until Claudia Keenan in Chicago. Kensey was sure he’d been spotted. So he followed Ben Lufkin home. It turned out Lufkin was a cop. He made him call in to work and quit. Then he killed him, his wife and two kids. He cleared out their home making it appear they’d moved. He even had the nerve to use Lufkin’s name and give his lieutenant’s name as a reference to your pal Chief Bud Calhoun in Midway, Georgia. Lt. Sawyer was so relieved to hear from Calhoun that Lufkin was in Georgia that he simply gave a glowing reference without questioning if it was really him.”
“And he told you about all of them?”
Jess nodded and sighed. “Seems he found me worthy. ‘Someone of proper breeding and intelligence,’” she quipped mockingly. She let out a derisive huff. All because my ‘father’ was Philippe Rodier – a misogynistic bastard who could never be described as nice on his best day.”
Dana kissed Jess’s temple. “Well, you were certainly a gifted student.”
Jess waved her hand dismissively. “There are plenty of people who could excel scholastically if given the same advantages.”
“Can I ask you something?”
“Why is your name Morgan if your parents’ name was Rodier?”
“Ah, that. Elizabeth was a little flighty, and Philippe was a cold-hearted bastard. Sometimes Elizabeth would go off on her own, especially when they traveled on business trips. Often times it was the only way she could get his attention. When he eventually noticed he would send someone after her. He became a little more attentive once he was told she was pregnant with his son. However, on a business trip in the States, Elizabeth once again took off and checked into a hotel under her maiden name. She ended up having some complications and was rushed to the hospital where she was given an emergency c-section. It was the next day before Philippe realized she’d taken off again. When the family lawyer tracked her down he’d told Philippe she’d already given birth. He showed up with a large bouquet of flowers… which he promptly threw in the trash when presented with his daughter instead of the son he expected. Anyway, Elizabeth had been checked into the hospital under her maiden name and that’s what was put on my birth certificate. When Philippe was asked about changing it he said only his son would bear his name.”
Dana set her wineglass down and wrapped both her arms around Jess. Her heart ached for her lover. “Oh, Jess. I’m so sorry.”
Jess shrugged. “It’s okay. Morgan was my grandfather’s name and he was a good man… a very good man,” she said softly.
After their relaxing bath Dana and Jess turned in for the night. They curled up together with Dana spooning Jess.
“So, which posting do you think you’ll take?” Dana finally asked.
Jess smiled as she shifted to roll over and face Dana. “That depends.”
“On where you’d like to go.”
“What do you mean?”
Jess reached up and caressed Dana’s cheek. “Do you really think I’m going anywhere without you? And in case you need that answer spelled out for you, it’s ‘no.’” She leaned in and captured Dana’s lips in a tender kiss.
Dana felt her heart swell at Jess’s quiet but firm declaration. It then skipped a beat when she kissed her.
Jess pulled back from the kiss and gazed into crystal blue eyes. “You still have your choice of postings, Dana. I’ll go wherever you want.”
“After we came back from the West Coast I had put in a request to go back to Quantico once the case was over.”
“Alright, if that’s still what you want, we can go to Quantico.”
“I don’t know if that’s what I want. I requested it as a stopgap until I could figure some things out. I don’t know where I’d like to go.”
“Well, we don’t have to decide until after vacation. And if we still don’t know by then there’s nothing wrong with Quantico. It might be kind of nice to have regular hours for a change. We certainly don’t have to decide right now.”
They drifted to sleep in each other’s arms
After sleeping in, and some languorous lovemaking, Dana and Jess showered and dressed. They went out for brunch and then reported to work. John arrived at the same time so they rode up together in the elevator. When they entered the bullpen all the agents present stood and started to applaud.
Jess smiled, moved to stand with the other agents and started to clap as well.
They were startled by the voice behind them.
“Job well done – by everyone.”
Dana and John turned to see the Director standing behind them and smiling.
“Taylor, Morgan, Scully, Casper, with me, please.”
The four followed the Director to elevators and rode up with him.
“Hold my calls, Stacy. And bring us some fresh coffee, please,” he ordered as they passed through his outer office.
He indicated for the AD and the agents to take a seat in the sitting area of his office. Everyone took a seat.
“Okay, bring me up to date,” the Director ordered.
“As you know, Scully and Casper apprehended Kensey in Illinois. On the plane back he freely confessed to each and every one of the 98 murders represented by the bottles of blood in his cabin. He also confessed to the murder of Crystal Norris, his first victim, and Chicago police officer Ben Lufkin, his wife and their two children,” Morgan answered.
“Is he sane?”
“He’s a true psychopath; he has no remorse whatsoever. Even though I got his complete confession on tape I’m afraid it’ll still end up being argued by lawyers and decided by a judge.”
There was a knock on the door before Stacy entered with a tray. She brought the pot of fresh coffee to the sitting area and poured a cup for the Director and everyone else, except Morgan. Knowing Morgan didn’t care for coffee, she handed her a mug of hot tea. Each person took care of adding cream and sugar to his or her own preference.
“Thank you, Stacy,” the Director said.
“You’re welcome, sir.” Stacy closed the door behind herself as she left.
The Director looked at Taylor. “And what of the forensics team? What did they find?”
“The wine bottles full of blood, obviously, four bottles of Joy perfume, driver licenses for over two dozen identities, empty wine bottles and some trocars with tubing.”
Scully’s eyes lit up. “That must be how he took their blood and filled the wine bottles.”
Morgan frowned. “But wouldn’t you have found evidence of him having used a trocar during the autopsies?” she asked.
“I don’t understand. What is a trocar?” asked Casper.
“It’s a device used in the embalming process to drain bodily fluids,” Morgan answered.
“That’s not all they’re used for. They’re also used in laparoscopic surgery and small ones are used to place intravenous cannulas. And with the wounds on the victims it would have been very easy to destroy any evidence of its use,” Scully explained.
“What about the booby traps he had set up at the cabin?” the Director asked.
The one Detective…” Taylor checked his notes, “Whitten was injured by was the only one that was set at the time.”
“Kensey did tell me that he hadn’t set any of the traps in years. He said that after the first couple of years there and no sign of anyone knowing he was up there he stopped setting the traps altogether,” Morgan said.
“And you believe him?” Casper asked
“Actually, I do.”
“The forensics team did say it appeared to have actually been a malfunction rather than a deliberate act,” Taylor agreed.
They continued to discuss the specifics of the case for the next hour or so before the Director called the meeting to an end.
“Alright, Casper, you can go ahead and report to Norfolk for your original assignment. Good work.”
“Yes, sir. Thank you.” He got up and left since the Director’s tone made it clear he was being dismissed.
He then looked at Morgan and Scully. “And I understand you both have put in for a couple of weeks of vacation before deciding on your next assignments.” He continued after they nodded. “Your vacation is approved starting next week.
“Thank you, sir,” Scully replied.
“In the meantime,” he paused, “take the rest of the week off. I don’t want to see either of your faces around here until two weeks from next Monday. Now get out of here,” he said with a smile.
Outside the Director’s office Dana turned to Jess. “Did he just give us practically another week of vacation?”
Jess grinned. “He sure did. And I, for one, plan to make good use of it. Come on, let’s get out of here.”
Once they were in Dana’s car Jess turned to her. “You said a secluded beach somewhere. I know of a couple of wonderful places. Let me make some phone calls and we can be there tomorrow. What do you say, Dana?”
Dana smiled, unable to resist. “I say yes, of course.”
Jess placed her phone calls and received a return phone call. She hung up and smiled at Dana.
“It’s all set.”
“A small private villa on the beach in Saint Martin. We fly out of BWI at 7:00 in the morning, change planes in Charlotte and land at 1:15. A car will be waiting to drive us to the villa. Then we’ll fly back the Saturday before we’re due back at work at about 3:30 in the afternoon with a direct flight to Dulles, landing at 7:45.
Dana and Jess spent the rest of the afternoon getting ready for their vacation. They packed light knowing they weren’t going to be venturing out often. After an early dinner they showered and turned in since they had to get up and leave so early.
Dana laid her head on Jess’s shoulder as they settled. “You know, I’ve never actually gone on vacation with anyone besides my family.”
“Well I’m very glad you’ve decided to go with me.”
Dana pulled back so she could look at Jess. She reached up and caressed her cheek. “I know we’ve only known each other a matter of weeks but I’ve never felt this way about anyone, Jess. I know in my heart that I belong with you.”
Jess felt her heart skip a beat and then race. She knew that she and Toni had loved each other, but Dana… Dana touched her heart and soul in a way no one ever had.
Dana was gazing directly into Jess’s eyes as she continued. “I feel like I was born to love you,” she said softly. She saw sparkling grey shift to fathomless obsidian and back to sparkling grey again. It surprised her… and excited her. But then she saw a hint of concern and reticence in those beautiful eyes. She rolled Jess onto her back, straddling her hips, and took her face in both her hands. “No, Jess. No. Don’t ever hold back; not with me.”
“You don’t understand, Dana.”
“Yes, I do. I know that you’ve never been able to be completely yourself with anyone. But that’s exactly what I need from you. I need you to not hold back, Jess. I love you – all of you.”
Jess held her eyes for a few moments before her eyes once again shifted to black and she raised her head to claim Dana’s lips with her own. She wrapped her arms around Dana and rolled them over, deepening the kiss.
Dana broke their kiss only long enough to peel Jess’s tank top off over her head. She then slipped her hands under the waist of her pajama bottoms and panties and squeezed her ass cheeks. Jess brought her hands up and started unbuttoning Dana’s top. She trailed open-mouthed kisses down the slowly exposed skin until she captured an erect nipple and suckled. Dana let out a quiet moan and arched up into Jess.
Jess continued to kiss her way down and slid Dana’s pajama bottoms and underwear off. Dana’s knees raised and parted of their own volition as Jess kissed, licked, and nipped her way down her torso. Jess settled between Dana’s thighs and took her in her mouth.
Dana’s head slammed back into the pillow and she buried her hands in Jess’s silky tresses. Her body bowed when she felt Jess’s fingers push inside her and stroke that special place. It didn’t take long for her to come. She immediately pulled at Jess, urging her up and wrapping her arms around her. Dana tasted herself on Jess’s lips and tongue as they kissed.
Dana’s deft hands made quick work of removing and discarding Jess’s pajama bottoms and panties. She ran her foot down the back of Jess’s thigh and calf. Then she slipped a hand in between them, her fingertips sliding through the evidence of her lover’s arousal and zeroing in on her clit.
Jess’s back arched and she bucked against Dana’s hand. She kissed her way down and suckled at Dana’s breast, shifting so she was straddling the redhead’s hips. She felt Dana’s fingers slide inside her, making her moan.
Dana urged Jess back up from her breast so that she could kiss her again. Jess ran her fingers through silky, red hair. She broke the kiss and pulled back just enough to gaze into sapphire blue eyes. Dana saw something in those obsidian eyes and instinctively knew exactly what her lover feared… and craved. Wrapping her hand around the back of Jess’s neck she pulled her down and whispered hotly in her ear.
“I love all of you! Don’t hold back!”
She heard what could have been a stifled sob… but then felt the momentary flash of pain that came with the piercing of her skin by Jess’s fangs, instantaneously followed by intense, blinding pleasure that had her convinced she was having an out of body experience. For the first time in her life, she gave herself over completely, body and soul, to another person.
For the first time in Jess’s life she completely and totally gave in to her other side… and to another person. She placed her complete and abiding faith and trust in Dana, and her love, to be there to catch her when she fell. When she gave into the urge to bite Dana she didn’t drink her blood… she tasted her soul.
Dana cradled Jess in her arms as they slept.
The driver of the car handed Jess a message when they landed on the island the next afternoon. She closed her eyes and rubbed her forehead as the driver loaded their bags in the trunk.
“What’s wrong, Jess?” Dana asked as they got in the backseat.
Jess sighed. “There was a screw up at the prison yesterday afternoon – a violation in security protocol. Kensey tried to kill Mulder; he stabbed him. Kensey’s obviously still in isolation but Mulder was taken to the infirmary.” She paused. “Apparently he wasn’t as hurt as he let on… he escaped last night from the infirmary.” Jess looked at Dana. “We can turn around and head back.”
“No. I’ve given up too much of my life to Mulder and his personal quest. No more. He’s a fugitive. Let the Bureau and the Marshal Service worry about him. He’s not my problem anymore.” Dana leaned over and kissed her lover. “My future is with you.”