The Fall Chapter 6
The Peach Tree Diner – Afternoon – Two Days Later –
She breathed a sigh of relief when the two men walked into the upscale eatery. Savannah had placed two calls, one to Marcos and the other to her old college professor. Marcos had been in the city all week keeping an eye on Darren and Professor Hamilton Porter had arrived from New York late last night. As they approached her table she smiled.
“Good morning you two. Thanks for coming.”
“I’ve been to Atlanta so many times over the last year that I told my wife we may be moving here, permanently.”
The sarcasm in Marcos’ voice was not lost on Savannah as she shot the man an evil look before turning to the older man.
“You call, I come. That’s our deal, right?”
Hamilton smirked and leaned down to kiss her on the cheek, lingering longer than a normal peck would require.
The waitress came by and handed each of them a menu, as the men got comfortable in the oversized booth.
“Their eggs benedict are amazing.”
“This place is rather high-brow to be called a diner, don’t you think?” The professor asked.
“That’s a part of its appeal.” She answered.
“So, let’s cut right to it. You would never call me to Atlanta if there wasn’t a problem.”
Savannah looked at Marcos before answering. She wondered if the two had already talked.
“He still won’t agree to have a baby…”
“Come on, Savannah, surely you didn’t call me all the way from New York because you’re biological clock is ticking! What else is going on?”
“I can’t put my finger on it. It’s just…he’s the perfect husband, agreeable and he tries so hard to be everything I want but there are times when I feel resistance from him. I mean most times he seems normal…”
“Normal? You mean he’s obedient, don’t you Savannah?”
“Whatever, Marcos! I thought it would be easier, you know? This is a lot more work than I thought it would be. It’s almost like, if you look, I mean really look, you can see…”
“Savannah, I warned you from the moment we started, that this was going to be risky. Derek Morgan…”
“SHH! We agreed never to call him that!”
“Darren Matthews wasn’t like anyone else we’ve done this with. He’s a fighter and he has the strongest will I’ve ever seen! You had to have known he wouldn’t give up without a fight!”
“He’s right, Savannah.” Marcos interrupted. He still wasn’t ready to confirm her suspicions or that he’d seen it too. “It took us three times longer to break him than all our other subjects. It wasn’t until you threatened…”
“Enough! I don’t want to hear any more! Just tell me how I get that last bit of resistance out of my way! I want the life I’ve always dreamed about and I want it with Derek!”
“Who?” The two men said in unison.
“Darren! I want my life with Darren!”
The waitress came back again to take their orders. Savannah was visibly upset; upset because she knew her cohorts were right. Derek Morgan wasn’t like any other man and he wasn’t going to be easy, no matter what they did to him. Still, he belonged to her now and whatever it took, Derek, or Darren would learn who was boss or she’d destroy him and anyone who ever meant anything to him in the process.
BAU – Quantico, VA – Afternoon –
Hotch found himself distracted. The last six months had made it difficult to keep up his façade of strength and professionalism. He would’ve had to be blind not to see his team falling apart, especially Penelope. They’d lost one of their own with no explanation and no answers as to the how and why the strongest of them had mysteriously left their lives.
The timid knock on his door dragged him abruptly from his thoughts. He wasn’t in the mood for any more boot licking from Kevin Lynch. He seemed the only one around who hadn’t been affected by Morgan’s disappearance but given his history with Penelope Hotch wasn’t surprised. It was no secret that he had taken it hard when Morgan and Penelope had made their relationship official and then marrying shortly afterward.
“Come in Kevin.”
Kevin opened the door and nervously stepped inside closing the door behind him. Hotch looked up from the file in front of him. The disheveled man had not moved from his spot near the door.
“Have a seat.”
“Uh look Kevin, I’m really busy so what can I help you with?”
“Uh yes…I wanted to alert you to some…activity that…uh that you might not be aware of?”
“Activity? What type of activity, Kevin?”
“It seems that the bureau is keeping an eye on the team and luckily I have a friend who’s been assigned the task of…”
“Get to the point.”
“Unauthorized searches have been detected. It seems as if a few of the BAU team members are conducting their own independent investigations into the disappearance of Agent Morgan.”
“And I’m sure you probably weren’t aware of it, right sir?”
Hotch set his pen down and looked across the desk at the man who suddenly seemed a lot more confident that when he’d first entered.
“Kevin, I appreciate your concern and please thank your friend for the heads up. I’ll be sure to remind the team of the bureau’s orders.”
“Well, great, I just don’t want to see anybody get into any trouble.”
“Of course. Now, if that’s all I’m sure you’re just as busy as I am today.”
Kevin stood and nearly tripping over the chair, headed back toward the door.
Kevin turned to face Hotch.
“I’ve been so busy I haven’t asked.”
“How have you been doing?”
“I mean I know all of us have had a hard time accepting Agent Morgan’s disappearance. It seems you’ve been handling it pretty well.”
“Oh, uh…it’s just really hard…really hard to believe, you know?”
“Yes, I know. Well, I’m impressed at how well you’ve been handling things.”
“Thank you sir. I guess I better get back to work.”
“Of course. Oh and Kevin…”
“Thank you, for everything.”
“Of course, I’m a part of this team too. Anything I can do to help, just ask.”
Hotch nodded as the man rushed from the office. Kevin Lynch was calm, maybe too calm. Lynch was a lot of things but calm was never one of them. He acted like a man who knew too much and had grown confident almost cocky in the fact that he knew something no one else knew.
“Maybe it’s time for me to start my own investigation.” Hotch thought.
Peach Tree Diner –
“How far are you willing to go? The Professor asked.
“As far as I need to.”
“It may mean another round of indoctrination.”
“Doc, that’s pretty extreme, isn’t it?” Marcos asked.
“Well, if she wants to preserve this, fairytale, that she’s created here then she’s going to have to make some decisions!”
“I’ll do anything! I can’t lose him, Hamilton, I can’t!”
Hamilton reached for her hand across the table.
“And you won’t. Trust me.”
“It may mean getting him out of town for a few days, a week or two. Can you get the time off from the hospital?”
“Of course, I’ll find a way. They owe me some days anyways.”
“Good. I’ll be in touch.”
Hamilton and Marcos stood and said goodbye. For the first time in weeks, Savannah felt hopeful. Once again Hamilton had rode in on his white charger and saved the day. After all these years, he’d kept his word to her. Staring out the window she watched the two men get into the black sedan parked across the street.
Berkstrum Research Facility – 15 years ago –
Savannah was nervous and happy, giddy even. She’d taken the test three times and the results had been the same. She couldn’t wait to tell him, the man of her dreams. She loved him he had been the first man, who’d taken her seriously and had been able see her for the adult she so desperately wanted to be. But like a little girl, she’d made plans in her head about a future with him. She wanted it all, the white picket fence and two point three kids all who looked exactly like their father. It didn’t matter that her dreams were totally out of reach especially with him.
“Hello, my darling! Come in, come in.”
Savannah stepped inside the cluttered lab where she’d spent the last two years of her life working for a man that most medical students would have killed to work with. He was the smartest man she knew and handsome too. She couldn’t get enough of him and she hoped after today, he’d be hers forever.
“Can we talk?”
Hamilton turned to face her closing the distance between them. Gently he placed his hands on her arms.
“Sure what’s up?’
Savannah pulled away from him slightly.