Rating: NC-17 to be safe
Prompt(s) used: "Reid meets a pretty, green-eyed girl in a club while investigating current unsub. he gets together with her later, only to discover she's not quite what she seems."
Author's notes: This is my first time writing smut. I am anxious-excited to know if it's any good.
Warnings: This fic mentions rape, but doesn't describe it. If you think that might be triggering enough, please don't read this fic. Also, this is my first time writing smut, and I almost died of embarrassment more than once trying to write it. Hopefully I've written it well and will not have to flee the internet out of shame. More notes after the fanfic.
In the airspace over Port Isabel/Cameron County Airport, Reid took a gulp from his tiny bottle of San Pellegrino. The jet cabin felt strangely dry.
The last time he was in Texas had been for Owen Savage. He killed the bullies that had tormented him for so long, broadcasting their deaths over the internet in a distortion of "make the punishment fit the crime." The teenager was still in prison, supposedly awaiting trial, but Reid heard that a deal was going to be made soon - in return for a guilty plea of murder without extenuating circumstances, in the death of Ike Stratman, all other charges would be dropped. The prosecution was concerned that a jury would think all of Owen's other victims got what they deserved.
It was the first time Reid had ever been glad that the victims were dead, and not because they were no longer in pain from being tortured. Even a year later, he felt a total lack of shame balanced only by a sense of horror at that absence. Sociopaths, by definition, lacked empathy.
Just before they were told to ready for landing, Hotch changed his mind. "Reid and Prentiss, I want you to switch places." The latter agent turned in her seat with a little surprise, but the case was quickly turning out to be more of a twist than she had stated early on.
Young men being raped and murdered on spring break, rare and tragically ironic, yes - but then add in a woman as the lead detective on the case, as well as a female manager at the Hudson Street Hotel. It wasn't PC at all, but as Hotch explained it they couldn't afford to keep both female members of their team working one side.
J.J. was the liaison between the BAU and all other police agencies, and would do fine with Detective Evans. But Julie Riley was dealing with two dead bodies and a sudden plethora of vacant rooms. "She's most likely worried about more people checking out, pressure from her superiors, and the possibility of another body showing up. We already have a reduced amount of time before the case goes cold, and her hotel is the only connection between the victims. Making sure she doesn't withhold a single piece of information in preference to job security is crucial."
"So while Starsky and Hutch here question employees and work the crime scene," said Prentiss with a grin, "I'll stay with Ms. Riley and make sure she feels comfortable in her position. The less stressed out she is over losing business and possibly her job, the less likely she'll try and hold anything back from us." Prentiss honestly couldn't feel too bad about being presented as a professional female role model as a way of working the case.
"Now wait a minute," Morgan piped up. "Which one of us is Starsky, and which one's Hutch?"
"Personally, I wanted to be Joe Friday when I was a kid," said Rossi. And like that, the team was off on a five minute break, debating Cagney and Lacey over Miami Vice while they disembarked the plane.
"Hmm?" Reid looked up from a file. Hotch stared at him, taciturn as ever, but he had asked the question softly, and away from the rest of the group. A quiet Reid was unusual. "Are you all right with coming to the police department to work on victimology?"
"Yeah," Reid answered, "I'm fine." And even though it was the truth he quickly followed it up with some statistics on the rise of sexual assaults during college spring breaks, and climbed into the provided FBI van after everyone else.
Reid was hundreds of miles away from West Bune, and ever further from his last craving of Dilaudid. He would not go to the hotel and look at a crime scene of rape and murder through the unsub's eyes. He would go to the police station and learn everything he could about the two young men who came to have fun during their spring break and would never finish college.
It was seven minutes to midnight, and Reid had Mexican flavored techno as his background music.
He dropped his shoulder bag on a seat at the outdoor club he was supposed to be canvassing and slumped onto the adjacent bar stool. A few seats down a girl in a hunter green dress lazily sipped at her drink, but otherwise students came and left with beer and no one else was actually sitting at the bar. There was more smoke than he expected, and it made him rub at his eyes. Reid debated whether he felt grateful or jaded that in this case he was relegated to interviewing party-goers and handing out fliers instead of something like when he cut into a paranoid schizophrenic to perform magic tricks with a scalpel and fake computer chip.
The bar - the closest to the unsub's chosen hotel out of all the South Padre establishments - was on the ocean front, and in the space between the waves and the main alcohol supply people thronged. College aged kids were clad in tiny swim suits, jean shorts, polo shirts and flip flops for even the bartenders and the D.J.s from a local radio station that were set up near the boardwalk. Neon was the color of choice, for plastic beer cups, glow-stick jewelry, and for the cheap decorations strung up in between the scattered palm trees. People even had informal games of night time volleyball going on.
A huge bonfire blazed and dwarfed the numerous metal fire pits that were burning all around the rest of the beach. Later, when Reid didn't have a headache and was determined to think of something poetic to be found in the hormonal anarchy, he would compare it to the singular full moon and thousands of pinprick stars surrounding it.
Somewhere in the fray Morgan, Prentiss and J.J. were also canvassing the beach, but with most assuredly more success than him. Reid scratched at his shoulder, sweating underneath his cardigan and long-sleeve dress shirt. He forgot to switch out for sweater vests in his away bag now that it was spring for the continental states. The local police department had first-rate indoor air conditioning.
A guy wearing a college shirt but no pants, and shouting something unintelligible, ran right up to the bar and slammed into the counter, then fell back on his rear end like something out of an ACME cartoon. He didn't seem hurt though, and laughed with his friends as they pulled him off the sandy floor and propped him up so they could order more drinks. The force of the hit knocked over the remaining fliers in Reid's stack, which only scattered so spectacularly because he still had most of them.
They shouldn't have split up. Or he should have stayed at the police station with the forty-and-over half of the team, where he wouldn't have to rub sand grit out of his eyes.
"Hey!" One of the bartenders pointed at Reid, flicking his finger back and forth between the agent and the mess of fliers. "No soliciting, man! I told you jerkasses last night to convert people to your straight edge Mormon cult at some other bar! Clean this shit up or get lost!"
Reid sighed and pulled out his I.D. The bartender looked a little nonplussed. "So... are you gonna pick up the fliers?"
A couple came up to the bar, who could barely be labeled as such because the girl kept telling the guy, "Leave me alone, asshole, see how I have to buy my own tequila?" in a drunken slur, while the guy kept making lip-smacking noises and telling her how much she'd love his ten-inch dick. She made a constant motion of rolling her eyes by using her whole head, which in her sloshed condition made it look like she was dancing by herself.
Reid seriously wondered how the heck he was supposed to warn these people about a pair of serial rapists targeting men and not get punched in the face.
Even for a profiler, who was used to recognizing patterns in human behaviors and using them to advantage, what happened next was stupidly cliché: the guy finally got physical and grabbed the blonde's arm, so Reid stood up and firmly suggested that the man might want to find another, more willing woman to spend his time with.
"Get your own nurse, Doogie Howser," the guy snapped, and Reid almost took it as a compliment as he was knocked over a bar seat. He felt a sensation that hadn't occurred since his first stretch in college as one of his new hybrid contacts, irritated too much by the environment, popped right out.
Reid mentally cursed in Middle English, one hand over his eye, and when he stumbled around to face the guy again he made sure to put his other hand on his holster. The man was only so inebriated and shoved the girl away when he noticed the gun. "Whatever, bitch," he said and walked off.
The girl wobbled over to Reid and smiled up at him. "Hey thanks, that guy was such a jerk!" she said around a gulp of alcohol. "Do you need any help looking for your contact lens?"
There was no chance in the nine circles of Dante's hell that he was going to get on his hands and knees to search the beer drenched, sweat stained, pretzel littered, sand covered, and possibly urine sprinkled ground for something to put into his eye. At nighttime, no less.
He tried to turn her down at neatly as possible. "Ah, no thank you, I'm fine. You should know that there's this thing called transference, that makes you feel-" Reid was cut off when she turned to the side and vomited all over the floor before crumpling over and taking a nap on some trampled fliers.
"Your third tequila, then," he guessed. The drink she dropped was fortunately in a cup of pine-colored plastic, and not breakable glass. Reid kicked it aside. He gingerly searched for her cell phone and used it to call one of her friends, who came over and helped her back to their hotel room.
Someone had spilled tap ale over his briefcase, and Reid used napkins to uselessly mop at the leather. He used his own cell to call Hotch and ask if he could wrap up for the night, and was informed that everyone was heading in. Reid was actually within walking distance of the hotel they were staying at, which was not the Hudson Street one. They hoped the two unsubs wouldn't strike for a third time, even though a profile truly needed three victims in order to establish a solid pattern.
"Finally," he said, and moved to pack up and leave.
"Leaving so early?" a smoky voice said to his left.
Reid's vision was half blurred, but when he turned his head to the speaker he recognized her as the girl from when he first got to the bar. She had moved closer to him without him noticing. He was a little surprised that she was still there, almost half an hour later, alone.
"It's after midnight," he replied. "I wouldn't call that early."
"They certainly show no signs of stopping," she said, referring to all the dancing, drinking people on the beach.
"Well, they are on vacation, and don't have to get up and go to work tomorrow."
The girl moved to face him fully, and the corners of her lips turned up like she was trying to hold back a smile. "An honest working man. How refreshing." She re-crossed her legs.
Reid unconsciously licked his lips. Her dress wasn't typical beachwear; in fact it looked like it belonged more in a dance club of some urban city. While every other girl was in jean shorts and a bikini top, this girl - woman, Reid challenged, because she had a kind of jaded air about her - wore something that managed to be more formal but more traditionally feminine at the same time.
She beat him to the introductions. "Amanda," she supplied, and reached out a hand for him to clasp. Everything she did was leisurely and drawn out; she moved like she was underwater, and she spoke slower than average, in a southern drawl.
"Doctor Reid," he said, because he only ever introduced himself for academic or federal reasons and plain old flirting was still new to him. But she didn't follow up with any standard response to meeting a doctor. She toyed with the straw in her glass, and Reid thought it might be the same one she originally had, which meant she wasn't drinking as much as she wanted others to think.
"It's too bad your damsel in distress had to pass out. I'm sure she would have been quite grateful to you, for a rescuing her from such an animal," she teased. "They're everywhere this week."
"Saving people for the sole purpose of getting to have sex with them later on is revolting," he said, because it was a topic he'd thought about before. It actually had a name: White Knight Syndrome. Not for nothing, Reid hadn't and wouldn't ever get on a horse. "It was just the right thing to do."
Reid thought she might have shrugged at that, not believing in such a noble statement, but instead she nodded her head in agreement, or approval. "So, what brings you to this little island?" she asked.
"Uh, crime?" Reid cleared his throat. Maybe he'd get the chance to inform at least one person. "I'm with the Behavioral Analysis Unit at the FBI. We're investigating a possible serial killing in the area. You probably saw something on T.V. about it, stressing the buddy system and asking for any information? We think we're looking for a team of two people, a woman and a man."
Without missing a beat Amanda leaned towards him, close enough for him to notice she had bottle-green colored irises, in wide eyes framed by long lashes. "No one is here to watch T.V., Doctor Reid."
"Oh, right." He cleared his throat again, and thought about getting a drink himself because the air was suddenly arid, although it was Texas after all. "Right."
"I can't say I'm too worried." She flicked some hair away from her face. "I know how to take care of myself."
"You should still take extra precautions; the victims were sexually assaulted before they were killed. And actually, both of them were male."
Something in Amanda's face changed at the extra fact, draining away at some of her brazen self-assurance. "Is that all it takes to get someone's attention nowadays?"
"We're just one team," Reid said, after a moment. He tried not to sound too pitying. Sometimes he hated being so good at profiling. "And we don't take cases based on gender, usually it's when there's a time factor involved." Not an outright lie, but not even close to the complicated truth either.
Now Amanda didn't hold back her smile, and it loudly projected her fake compassion. "They must have been such good boys too. Did well in school, kept to themselves. Didn't drink, didn't steal. Didn't bring girls back to the room. Well worth the time and effort to bring the guilty parties to justice."
"They were typical alpha males." Reid didn't know why he felt uncomfortable giving her the information. J.J. had already disclosed pretty much the same thing through the local media earlier that day. Or since it was after midnight, the day before. It might have been because he knew he didn't have to define what "alpha male" meant. Or because if he didn't keep talking, she would leave, but he didn't know how to gracefully change topics and make her stay. "And yes, I believe it's worth the time and effort in all cases."
"You came all this way for a couple of frat boys?" Amanda said it like the whole thing was a bad joke. She crossed her arms under her admittedly small chest. "They're more the type to leave victims behind, not become ones themselves. Are you sure they deserve an FBI investigation?"
Reid met her stare. He wouldn't think about all the dropped charges Garcia found on William Browder, or the one arrest that had been expunged from Daniel Keller's juvenile records. "Yes, I do."
He massaged his temples as he felt his headache return. It was a surprise to feel it come back when he hadn't realized it had left in the first place.
"Headache?" Amanda guessed correctly, and politely offered some painkillers.
"No thank you," he said too quickly, "I never take anything anymore."
She tilted her head to look at him. Reid surmised that she was the type to mix medication and alcohol, something he once wished he could try. "Suit yourself. Do you mind if I smoke?"
"Yes." Reid didn't mention his six minutes tactic. He knew now that it came across as flirtatious, and he was incapable of flirting on purpose without disaster. The possibility that Amanda might be a call girl soured his thought process.
Her hand stalled in the act of pulling out a carton. "Trying to rescue me from death by lung cancer, Doctor Reid?"
"Lung cancer is hardly the only consequence of smoking," Reid began. "Women who smoke are also at a higher risk of getting cancer of the throat, larynx, esophagus, not to mention heart disease, stroke, gum disease, emphysema, and that doesn't include the non-lethal physical effects such as tar deposits on your teeth that produce a dental rotting not unlike the colloquially known condition of 'meth mouth,' and the dermatological-"
He was interrupted for the second time that night, although this time it was from Amanda's quiet laughter. "I guess this means we won't be having sex later tonight," she said with a smile, but it was a very small grin, like she was surprised by her genuine amusement. Already he could tell that her normal smiles were acerbic or just for show.
Reid laughed too, very nervously, like a dying moose, and felt a burn spread across his face that he hoped wasn't visible in the dim light.
She wasn't an alpha male, she wasn't even the socially awkward female that the team currently suspected was one half of the killing team. And she wasn't a prostitute, but she did like him, enough so that even Reid could tell.
She put her chin in her hand, and studied Reid. He tried not to fidget, tried to be at ease with such blatant attraction the way someone like Morgan would. When Amanda leaned into him he stayed very still and deliberately didn't look at her breasts. She was close enough to kiss him, and his breath hitched - but her lips went to the side of his head, where she said, "Let's dance," into his ear.
Amanda's long brown hair tickled his face and neck, and Reid could smell her cologne, a kind of forestial fragrance he wasn't sure could be called perfume. He wanted to say, "Yes," so he said, "What about my bag?"
"Just leave it behind the counter," she said, and demonstrated with her own purse.
Reid stood up and tried to carefully place his briefcase by the bottles of liquor. "But what if someone takes it? Are we even allowed-" but then she was pulling him by the arm, away from the bar and closer to the beat of the D.J.'s gigantic sound speakers, to the dance area where the ground was more manmade stone than sand.
Reid followed Amanda through the crowds of people, all of them less than a decade younger than him, until she found a spot she liked. She took his hands and put them right on her waist, and started moving.
Reid never went to a single high school dance, or a dance at summer camp, or a weekend dance at any of the universities he attended. If he had, they might have prepared him. He couldn't move - there was an interesting, pretty girl running her fingers across his back, and he had to choke to remember to breathe.
"You should have ordered a drink," said Amanda, and she actually started to push him to make him shuffle from side to side.
Reid felt hot - not as in attractive, as in way too hot. It was spring break in east Texas, and he was surrounded by kids in bathing suits and skin and incandescent lights, while he was burning up inside of long corduroy pants and a wool cardigan and a tie for god's sake. Were J.J. and the others still out there somewhere? Because he knew a serial killer was.
Rationally, he knew that they weren't the center of attention, but, "It feels like everyone is staring at us," said Reid.
"Why? Look around, if you like. No one is looking at us." Reid moved his gaze from the top of her head to the people around him. He had to close one eye, and it was dim, but he still didn't meet anyone else's stare, even for just a second before they looked away. "They're all under the influence - of one thing or another," Amanda continued, "and too preoccupied with their own little games. They honestly can't see us at all."
Reid started to breath normally. He flexed his hands over the glossy material of her dark green sheath. The tune of the last song altered into something slower and darker, and he moved in time with the beat, left and right. Amanda moved close enough that the tops of her thighs brushed his, and her breasts just touched his chest. Someone was singing about the moon and losing the will to compromise, and Reid thought maybe he should kiss Amanda when the song was over.
She grabbed his shoulders for leverage, and drew herself up. "I want you to put
your fucking hands on me," she said, a steely command wrapped in a whisper.
He kept his mouth shut, because otherwise he'd gape like a fish. Reid moved his hands up her sides and over her back, and he could feel the outline of her bra. He cupped her shoulders, and ran up and down the twin expanses of her bare arms. She made small, voiceless sighs, and Reid took them as permission to keep going. He trailed down Amanda's lower back, and felt lightheaded when - for lack of a less crass term - he groped her ass. In front of dozens of people, whether they were watching or not.
Then she rolled her hips forward, and he let out a startled, "Ah!" His face was on fire
, but Amanda didn't let go of him, just pushed and pushed until he started moving against her, just like their dancing in the first place. Except this time it was back and forth, somehow still in time with the beat and yes, they were now grinding on the dance floor in front of dozens of people. He kept his hands on the soft flesh of her backside, and he could smell moss and leather in the haze of her perfume.
Reid wondered what else Amanda would make him do, and hoped no one with a cell camera would be interested. Apparently he was getting his own spring break, if a few years too late.
She pulled away from him next, and Reid almost whined at the sudden lack of contact. Amanda held on to one of his hands, but stepped back a few feet and stared at him again, like she had at the bar. There was something in the air that, besides making him thirsty, also made him think that any moment now she'd drop their outstretched hands, leaving him alone and half hard. He didn't say anything, for fear of saying the wrong thing.
Apparently it was the right thing to do, because she came back to him and said, "Let's go."
He wanted to say, "Go where?" and "We just got here," so he said, "Ok."
Reid stumbled after her into the handicapped stall of the nearest bathroom, which by the sting of industrial chemical solutions had fortunately been recently cleaned. He wondered if the janitors were willing to work in the middle of the night because they were so close to the border, and what the DNA trace sample count was compared to the hotel.
Once the lock was snapped into place, she put a leg in between his and resumed the rocking, grinding action until he was completely hard, which didn't take long at all. Amanda backed him into the horizontal rail and pulled the collar of his shirt aside, then started sucking at a spot on his neck, alternatively biting and licking.
Reid moved his hands over her body much like he had outside, but at a more frantic pace. And then he reached up to her face, pulling her to face him so he could finally kiss her. Reid tilted his head and pressed his lips down on hers. He kept kissing her, even though she wasn't responding, and when he was about to stop and ask if something was wrong she opened her mouth and tentatively kissed him back. For a few seconds there was something very relaxed and sweet in their make-out.
Amanda broke it off first. She put a hand to the front of his pants and palmed at Reid through the fabric, making him groan out loud. His tie had come loose and she took one end and pulled at it, so that it wound around his neck before pooling in her hand. Amanda looked at it for a second, considering something, but then flung the tie aside.
"Take off your sweater," she said, and held out her arms.
It took forever for Reid to unbutton his cardigan, probably because of his sweaty hands, but when he finally peeled it off and handed it over to Amanda, she carefully bent the sleeves in and folded it over once. She laid it on the floor by his feet and then knelt on it, protecting her knees from the hard tile and small grains of sand brought in by flip-flops.
Reid wondered if the constant flush he felt on his face was actually from a sunburn he'd gotten that day. "Oh, no, you - you don't have to do that, really -" Her answer was to unfasten his holster belt, and she set it down by his side away from the door because really, what did he think was going to happen?
"Put your hands through the rail," she instructed. Reid stretched his arms out to his sides, and put his hands behind and under the bar. He could easily pull them back up, but he couldn't move them straight out. He figured she didn't want him to yank her hair or force her head down.
"Listen, Amanda," he tried. She looked up at him with those vividly green eyes, visible even with his one contact lens. The harsh fluorescent lighting highlighted the little cleft in her chin. Reid wanted to tell her that even though it was traditionally considered a male trait, plenty of beautiful women had them, the current most famous probably being Christina Hendricks - although for two reasons he decided not to mention her at that time.
"Um, just, are you sure, I mean only if you want to, " he babbled, as she unbuckled his pants and tugged them down his thighs. Each time he tried to complete a sentence his breath came out heavier. It wasn't that his thinking slowed down - in fact it felt like his neurons were firing at a much faster pace - just that the imminent prospect of sex made him temporarily aphasiac, reducing him to gibberish and animalistic sounds.
For example, when Amanda put an open mouth to bulge of his cock and breathed hot air through the white cotton covering it, Reid knocked his head back against the wall and made a god-awful noise that even in an otherwise empty bathroom was embarrassing, maybe more so because it echoed.
In a final attempt at civil communication, Reid stuttered out the question, "Do you h-have a condom?"
"No," Amanda said demurely. Her French manicured nails scratched at his hipbones, pulling down his briefs. That freed his dick, already leaking and aching, and she licked the palm of her hand before wrapping it around him to stroke. "Do you want me to stop?"
Reid knew how to say 'no' in at least twenty different languages, if not how to pronounce them correctly. All his did was shake his head.
Amanda grinned her Cheshire Cat smile, and lowered her mouth down the length of his cock. Reid strained his arms against the metal rail, and he knew he'd have bruises on his wrists later. The pounding sensation in his ears of blood pumping kept the rhythm of her steady movements. Her tongue wiggled and swirled around Reid's cock while pushing her lips forward over him. Then she sucked on him as she drew back, sometimes grazing her teeth along the way, leaving a mix of saliva and rosy lip gloss every time.
Reid's converse sneakers squeaked on the floor as he tried not to thrust his hips. His world had become very small, to just the bathroom stall and the wet heat Amanda's mouth would give and take. She held his dick up to his stomach and licked a thick trail from the base near his balls all the way up to the sensitive spot underneath the top, and made mock kisses at the head, sucking at just an inch of it and tonguing at the salty slit. If Reid were still capable of coherent thought, he'd muse that yes, all that suggestive business about lollipops was true, oh so true, lollipops for everyone.
Amanda stayed composed even while sucking him in, and Reid started to fall apart. He made whimpering sounds and couldn't help pumping into her mouth a little, enough to tickle the back of her throat. She didn't try and stop him, or even gag, just hummed in contentment, and brushed her free fingertips through the short hair on his lower stomach. The underused muscles there coiled up under her touch, like pressure building.
Then she swallowed down as far as she could comfortably draw in and held there, making gulping motions. Reid writhed under the controlled rippling through her tongue and soft palate. When he finally came with a high pitched cry, Amanda pulled back just enough so that he could only flood her mouth and she wouldn't choke, using her hands to rub where her lips had been.
Reid lifted one of his arms to cover his face, panting. It was like coming indoors after being out in direct sunlight, where the artificial lights seemed off and kind of dizzying. He heard Amanda spit into the toilet, then shivered with aftershocks when she came back to lap at his softened cock, like a feline cleaning up after herself, and she let him touch her cheekbone.
He bent down a hand to help her stand up. Reid had no idea what to say, but he figured a "Thank you," was safe. Amanda stopped in the middle of smoothing down her dress, eyes wide with - shock? Hurt? Reid didn't recognize the expression, only that it was vulnerable. It felt like he made a mistake.
"Um, did you... want me to, I mean I could... if you want..." he gestured to the front of her hips, hoping she'd get the general idea of reciprocation.
"I appreciate the offer, Doctor Reid," she said, and there was nothing but smoke in her voice. Amanda didn't look at him again. "But I know how to take care of myself."
Reid must have been more sex-addled than he thought, because when she flicked open the stall lock he realized he didn't even know her last name. "Wait!" he called, except he had to pull up his pants and buckle them. By the time he grabbed his tie, and wool cardigan, and gun holster, and made it outside he might as well have lost both contacts because he couldn't find her at all.
He trudged back to get his briefcase and then headed to his hotel. People still partied like crazy around him, their skin tinged orange under the cheap synthetic lighting; nothing had changed. Reid wondered if the hollow sensation he felt in the wake of Amanda's departure could be considered post-coital tristesse, but more likely he was just pathetic and in withdrawal.
Hours later, when the sun came up again, Reid was back at the South Padre police department. He was late, and not looking forward to getting a reprimand from Hotch, but it turned out Hotch wasn't there. Neither was Rossi. Morgan and Prentiss were talking over a round table with a single laptop and plenty of files - not arguing, but definitely disagreeing over some point. He sat down with them and got right to reading the latest reports, listening to his teammates at the same time.
"Well hey there Doc, glad you could make it," Morgan greeted him. He shared a look with Prentiss - unlike the two absent agents, the rest of the team had gleefully gossiped on the possible reasons for Reid's rare lateness, in the middle of spring break with plenty of girls close to his age. Not that they thought anything had really happened, because it was Reid after all.
Morgan gestured to Reid's old pair of glasses. "Haven't seen you wear those in a while."
Reid shrugged off the comment. The motion made him aware of the hickey Amanda made, hidden under his shirt, low on his neck where it was brushed by the collar. "I was trying out new contacts. They didn't work out as well as I thought they would."
He noticed there was a woman in both interview rooms, each one wearing the uniform from the Hudson Street Hotel. J.J. watched them from outside. "What's going on?"
"A possible suspect. He's missing, never showed up for work." The way Morgan stressed
missing, it was like he took it personally, although it was Prentiss's influence that got the women to come in and talk, in case the BAU could help. "We've got the manager Julie Riley, and one of the employees, Madison Cooke. Either one of them could be the other half of the serial killer couple."
Reid glanced between him and Prentiss. "You don't agree on which girl." He straightened in his chair, ready for them to make their case.
Prentiss gave Morgan a good-natured "go ahead" gesture, which made Morgan grin. "All right - my money's on Madison. She fits the profile perfectly: socially awkward, emotional, of average intelligence, and she was involved in the triggering confrontation with the first victim and Adam."
"Who is Adam?" asked Reid.
"Adam Jackson, our missing possible," Prentiss told him. "He's a maintenance man at the hotel. The day before he was killed, William Browder tried to get a little fresh with Madison. Adam tackled him into the pool."
"But only after getting shoved down first," Morgan said. "So he's submissive except where she's concerned."
"But, Madison has an alibi for two out of the three nights someone was killed," said Prentiss.
"Which is still being checked out," Morgan reminded her.
Prentiss pretended not to hear him, and appealed to Reid. "What if we got everything in the profile right, except for the genders?"
Reid put his arms on the table, mindful of the ache in his wrists. "How so?"
"What if Julie was the dominant partner?" she argued, and listed the ways Julie took care of Adam and had motive.
"In any case both of them vehemently deny that Adam could be in any way involved. Let's be honest," Morgan said. "Who we really disagree on is Adam."
Reid blinked. This possible, Adam; he wasn't even there but it turned out he was the focus of the disagreement. Morgan thought he fit the classic profile - abusive stepfather, suddenly surrounded by the same type of guys during spring break, and the fight at the pool was when he snapped. Prentiss thought he was thoroughly submissive, way too timid and introverted to dominate anyone.
"You sure you're not just falling for a pretty face and the theory of female power behind the throne?" Morgan said. She threw a paperclip at him.
"Well," she admitted. "He did remind me a little of Reid."
Reid stopped in reading. "What?"
"Don't encourage him," said Morgan. "I finally stopped calling him 'Pretty Boy,' didn't I?"
"Maybe it's the hair," said Prentiss, and she stifled a laugh when Reid automatically patted his own hair.
"Can't say I disagree," came the tinny voice of Garcia through the microphone of the laptop. "Someone turn me around - well good morning Doctor Reid! I was wondering when you would come back to your senses about the undeniable sexiness a pair of spectacles bestows upon a geek."
"Hi Garcia. Could you bring up a photo of Adam Jackson for me, please?" Reid was anxious to see the face of the possible suspect that was supposed to look like him.
"Anything for a fellow sexy nerd. Et voilà! While he might not have your chiseled-from-marble cheekbones, he is definitely cute. I really hope he doesn't turn out to be one half of a serial killing couple."
This time, Reid's face burned cold, and he knew it must be white instead of red. He didn't tell her, but Garcia was right in a way. Adam wasn't one half - he was both halves. He'd been in front of Reid the entire time.
Adam Jackson wore simple coveralls, somewhat frayed and the color of washed out slate. It made his already pale skin look translucent, and his dark, messy hair didn't help any. Somewhere in the back of his mind Reid agreed that they had similar hairstyles, although Reid's hair was a much lighter shade and not as thick.
He could pass off the facial features as a coincidence, and the expression in the photo was so shy it was painful, but the eyes - they were damningly sea green and Reid knew them.
Prentiss had been so close. It was in fact a serial killing, serial raping team made up of an alpha female and a socially awkward male, just inside a single person who went down on him last night.
And now he had Amanda's last name and contact info.
"Reid?" Prentiss said with concern. He was gripping the sides of the laptop so hard that when he heard his name he jolted and one of the key caps broke off. "Whoa!"
"I'm sorry," said Reid, "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to. That's probably going to come out of my paycheck."
"No, I'm sorry," Prentiss apologized. "Reid, I was only teasing."
Reid wiped his hands on his pants. "It's fine." He kept his breathing as steady as possible. He worked with profilers. "Where are Hotch and Rossi, looking for Ah- Adam?"
"They checked out the hotel. He's not there, but the local cops are covering it in case he comes back. Hotch and Rossi have gone to Corpus Christi in case he's gone after his stepfather, maybe if he visits his mother's grave." Morgan sighed. "Other than that, we have no idea where he could be. He's anti-social, doesn't have a girlfriend or any close friends in general that we could find, and he isn't known to hang out anywhere other than the hotel."
"Not to mention he's only got a single debit card in his name, and it hasn't been charged in the last few days so he's probably using cash," added Garcia.
"You didn't find anything in his room, any clues?" Reid asked.
"Rossi looked it over himself, and he didn't come up with anything that he thought could help us find Adam," said Morgan.
"But he was pressed for time, he probably didn't get to do a thorough profiling before leaving for Corpus Christi." Reid stood up and hurriedly gathered some papers, stuffing them into his shoulder bag.
"Reid, what are you doing?" Morgan warned.
"I'm going to look at Adam's room myself, see if Rossi missed anything," Reid said in a rush. "I mean, I'll be honest, I am more like Adam than any of you. I don't go on dates, I don't go to parties, I still don't feel comfortable in front of groups and most authority figures," he admitted, echoing a profile Prentiss's predecessor made long ago. "I'm more likely to find something useful than anybody else."
"But - Julie and Madison need to be questioned," said Prentiss. "We need someone they haven't already met to help with that, and J.J. isn't qualified for interrogations. Reid!"
He was on his way out the door already. "Just trust me!" he called over his shoulder.
The drive to the hotel was short, and Reid counted the cops he saw looking out for Adam Jackson: one each in two cars outside, five in the lobby, one on the ground level where Adam lived. There was probably one on each floor, including the roof.
The policeman on Adam's floor recognized Reid from the station the day before, and kept to his rounds. Reid went into Adam's room, quietly closing the door behind him. He took a few deep breaths, trying to calm down, but it was like there was a constant buzzing underneath his skin. More than once he checked his cell because he thought it vibrated, but it was silent. Maybe Morgan and the others thought that since they knew where he was, they didn't need to check in with him. As far as Reid knew he hadn't been followed.
The thing was, all those police - they were looking for someone who not only was suspected of being long gone, but was distinctly male. And Reid had a feeling that Amanda was hiding in plain sight.
Adam's room was ordinary enough at first - beige walls, a T.V., a dresser and bed, a lamp on a side table. Not all his clothes had made it into a clothes hamper. Some of his janitor supplies were in a corner. A midsized bookshelf was barely half filled, with science-fiction and action DVDs, and self help books. He found an iPod charger, but no computer.
Then there was the wall. At first glance it seemed like some kind of interior decorating statement, a bunch of mirrors jumbled together, different sizes and shapes forming a distressed piece of art. But it was too cluttered to have any visually pleasing asymmetry, and on the floor was a huge blanket that Reid suspected was used to cover it up. He imagined Amanda standing in front of it, trying to find her reflection and getting lost in the mirrors.
In Adam's closet there were more handyman jumpsuits, and plain street clothes. A cardboard box on the shelf held official files and records. The space was otherwise empty.
Reid looked everywhere, under the bed, behind each piece of furniture. He checked the air vent, tried to pull up the carpet in each corner of the room, pulled out all the drawers. On the underside of one drawer was a scrawled phone number and the misspelled name 'Estoban?' which was probably a drug contact, and Reid hoped he hadn't taken advantage of the Mexican border less than ten miles away. Otherwise, there was nothing but dust motes and the sad air of a young man caught in a dead end life. Nothing that would help him find Amanda.
Which is what he wanted, really, and there was no point in denying it since he'd already lied by omission to the rest of the BAU. Reid should have spoken up the moment he recognized that Adam had dissociative identity disorder.
He could have left out his... rendezvous with her, and say that he saw Adam dressed as a woman while canvassing. Even if he disclosed the complete truth in order to catch Adam, Reid was fairly certain that his team wouldn't judge him too harshly. He couldn't have known Amanda was connected to the case - she didn't fit the profile he had by trying to lure him into a hotel room or try to physically restrain him. At worst he could be put under review, and unless Strauss was still gunning for the team he'd probably be cleared, although the BAU's reputation would probably suffer.
Except that was all a lie too, and Reid put his hands in his hair and convulsively swallowed a dry lump in his throat because he was in some seriously deep shit, and it wasn't that long ago that he almost got fired for being a supervisory special drug addict, for taking the side of the unsub instead of remaining professional.
Then the insight came to him. Reid went back to the closet and separated one uniform from the rest, a well worn but deep indigo that must have been manufactured in a factory generous with its dye lots. Unlike Adam's other uniforms, this one was buttoned all the way up to the neck. Reid's steady hands belied his diminishing sense of self-control as he undid the buttons.
There - hidden under the jumpsuit, draped right on the same hanger, was the dark green dress Amanda wore last night. Reid unfastened all the buttons on the uniform and let it drop to the floor. He clenched at the exposed satin with both hands, at the waist, the same as he had when it was snug around Amanda's body. He thought he could still smell something of the deep woods perfume, and in the daylight her dress was more myrtle colored.
Reid didn't know how long he stood there. If he had closed his eyes he might have heard her, but he was too focused on the clothing in his hands, so he was taken by surprise when a familiar pair of arms closed around him from behind and quickly snatched his firearm before he could react in time. Reid wondered if - hoped that - the guard on their floor was still alive.
"Don't I know you from somewhere?" laughed a low, feminine voice.
Reid wondered how it was possible to tense and relax at the same time. He didn't move or say anything, and when Amanda didn't respond by immediately shooting him in the head he leaned back into her embrace until she was hugging him to her chest and Reid's head was almost cradled in the crook of her neck. He didn't risk looking at her face. It was all so, so stupid of him, but he knew he would get lost in those brilliant green eyes.
Ever the eloquent genius, Reid said, "Hi, Amanda."
Gun steady in her hand, she replied, "Hello, Doctor Reid," and he wondered if he was going to get what he deserved.
The perfume Amanda wears is Chanel No. 19, the original blend, which was supposed to be almost mannish in strength. "Haughty and immune to sweetness... this extraordinary perfume appeals to anyone who has ever wished to know what it is to be heartless." Not to mention it's actually green colored, the newer version even more so. Just don't ask where she got it, because I don't think Adam can afford it on his salary.