Soul Purpose Chapter 21

It took both JJ and Reid to restrain Penelope as the coroner zipped the black body bag and signaled for the tech to proceed toward the door. She was inconsolable and the sound of her sobs set an odd tempo for the murmurs of detectives and CSI’s working in the background. All of them, Hotch, Rossi, Reid, and JJ stood stunned as their friend, the one who had survived so much and been so strong and who all of them suspected was invincible was now being wheeled past them his body stilled by the bullet of an unknown assailant.

“No! This can’t be happening! What am I supposed to do without him? What am I supposed to tell our daughter?”

Penelope clung to JJ barely able to stand under her own power and not able to believe that someone had done such an unimaginable thing right under their noses.

“JJ, get her out of here. Take her to my office…”

“No! No I want to go with his body…I have to…to say…goodbye.”

Dave ran his hands over his face and head. He was numb, he needed to tell Fran but what would he say? How could he tell her and her daughters that Derek was dead? He fought the tears as he remembered his promise less than twelve hours ago. He’d promised to have Derek’s back. He failed…

It wasn’t supposed to happen here not in a building filled with FBI agents and certainly not in the men’s restroom. If someone else were involved they would certainly know that he was still looking for them and they’d try to end him. They’d assumed it would be when he was on his way home or out with his family but here, not here. Dave watched as JJ and Reid pulled an inconsolable Penelope Garcia Morgan from the room. He wondered if she’d ever forgive him for what he had done…for what he was about to do. Then with a shaky hand he pulled his phone from his pocket and dialed.

She watched as the driver placed her last bag on the curb. She handed him a twenty- dollar tip and nodded her thanks as she looked around at nothing in particular. She’d never stopped looking over her shoulder since Ian and she supposed she never would…the cost of what she had done and still did for a living. She was headed back to the place she still called home even though she’d been gone for years. It was home and it was where the only family she knew lived. She only wished it was for better reasons. In fact, she was already having second thoughts for agreeing to be a part of a similar plan that had nearly cost her all of them once before. She felt her phone vibrating in her pocket and even before she dug it out of her pocket she knew who it was.

“Emily…”

“Dave, I thought we weren’t supposed to talk until I got to town.”

“Something went wrong.”

“What do you mean?”

“They didn’t wait…”

“What? I don’t understand!”

“They didn’t wait! They shot him! Here at Quantico! Somebody shot him in the men’s restroom!”

“Is he?”

Dave couldn’t speak the words he couldn’t accept what had happened any more than he could admit that it was his fault.

“Just…just come home.”

Penelope found the silence in Hotch’s office suffocating. She kept replaying the morning in her head as she absentmindedly placed her hand on her stomach. The queasiness that had been bothering her off and on for a week was back. She had a suspicion but she hadn’t bothered to confirm anything. Fresh tears made their way down her face…she knew something was bothering him…she should have insisted he tell her…she should have not let him off the hook…her mind wouldn’t accept what she had seen moments ago. She was angry with JJ and Reid and the others for not allowing her to go to him, to touch him one last time. She didn’t give a rat’s ass about it being a crime scene it was Derek, her husband, the father of her child…her world lying still on the floor. She wondered why the world had conspired to steal the happiness they had both fought so hard for. Then she thought of her daughter Saraya; she was a daddy’s girl through and through and now he was gone. He’d promised her that he’d never leave her…but he was gone…

Tinsley watched the goings and comings of local detectives and CSI’s from the hallway just outside of the men’s restroom. He waited until Hotch and Rossi exited and headed toward the elevators before approaching them. He was taking a big chance returning to the place where he’d moments ago shot one of his agents in cold blood but he had to play the director now; concerned and outraged at the gall of a person committing such an attack on holy ground.

“Agent Hotchner!”

Hotch stopped abruptly nearly colliding with the man.

“Director…”

“I just heard what happened.”

Hotch and Rossi continued hurriedly down the hall with Tinsley struggling to keep up.

“The building is on lockdown, but whoever did this is most likely long gone.”

“Do you have any leads? Who would do this?”

“No, no leads. Agent Morgan has a lot of enemies we just didn’t think they worked for the bureau.” Rossi answered.

“Wait, you honestly think an agent did this?”

“I think anyone with access to this building could have done this, yes sir!” Hotch answered.

Tinsley stopped just before the three of them arrived at the elevators. He felt confident that they would never realize that it was him who’d pulled the trigger.

“Please keep me informed on anything that develops…and let me know if I can do anything to help.”

Hotch nodded as he and Rossi stepped onto the elevator.

“After what just happened in New York does he really think it’s so far out of the realm of possibility that an agent could be involved in shooting Derek?”

“Dave, I wish I knew but I know one thing for sure we need to find who did this and find them fast.”

Unknown Medical facility – 2 hours later –

Dr. Avery Peterson watched from the window as his two top nurses got his newest patient settled. The man had been shot twice in the chest and had lost a lot of blood by the time he’d arrived at the secret location. It was rare that he was called to the facility for trauma victims since retiring four years ago. Very few knew about the place reserved for the medical emergencies of top government officials and world leaders. The last time he’d come was to care for a beautiful brunette FBI agent suffering a near fatal stab wound to the abdomen. Now here he was again the man laying unconscious had coded twice while in surgery and even though he’d survived the operation, Dr. Peterson wasn’t sure if he’d done enough to save the man’s life.

Adele, the older of the two nurses looked up and waved him into the room. The beeps and hisses of the machines confirmed that this man was far from out of danger.

“How’s our patient?”

“He woke up briefly and was asking for someone but we couldn’t make out what he was saying.”

Jessica the younger of the two nurses joined them at the foot of the man’s bed.

“I thought we’d seen the worse but I don’t know doctor.”

“Don’t give up, Jess. Right now we’re the only hope this man has. I know neither of us will rest until he walks out of here under his own power.”

“I know I’ll never give up…never!”

“Good. Now, let’s go and get something to eat.”

The three took one last glance at the caramel-complexioned man lying in the bed then without another word left the room.

“Penelope…Baby Girl…I need…you…”

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