CRIMINAL MINDS FANVENTION

CRIMINAL MINDS FANVENTION COMES TO SAN DIEGO!

THE DEREK MORGAN CHRONICLES   PRESENTS THE CRIMINAL MINDS FANVENTION SATURDAY MAY 14, 2016 12-5PM SAN DIEGO CONVENTI...

Monday, November 18, 2013

Healing Waters



When Strauss forces Morgan to see a therapist he sees it as retribution she sees it as salvation. What will result will be something that neither one of them ever expected.

BAU Jet – Tuesday – Evening
The jet ride from San Diego was tense and extremely quiet. Hotch couldn’t remember the last time he’d been this upset with one of his subordinates. Even now his anger was growing as he and the team waited for Morgan to board. The rest of the team kept silent not wanting to even look in the direction of their boss.

As Morgan entered the cabin, Hotch looked at his watch and shook his head. Morgan sat in the last row completely ignoring everyone and the fact that they had been waiting fifteen minutes for him. Without so much as an apology he plopped himself down, crossed his legs and placed his headset over his ears and closed his eyes. He wasn’t in the mood to deal with Hotch, Rossi or anyone else for that matter. He knew he was wrong and knew that he was in big trouble but at that moment he didn’t want to deal with it.

Hotch watched his wayward agent; clearly something was wrong and he was skidding off the rails. Morgan had always by far been his strongest and most controlled and focused agent but this year had been extremely tough and Hotch worried that even for Morgan the events of the past few months may be too much for him to recover from without help. With their recent case, he’d taken chances that were reckless, putting himself in harms way and any seasoned agent would know better. Morgan was showing signs that he was near his breaking point and Hotch could no longer wait for him to get better on his own. He was purposely jeopardizing his life and he was not going to allow him to get himself killed.

After the jet had taken off, Hotch stood and joined Morgan taking the seat across from him. Morgan refused to open his eyes or acknowledge him.

“Morgan.” Hotch said sternly.

Morgan slowly opened his eyes and removed his headset finally giving him his attention.

“Yea, what’s up Hotch?”

“What were you thinking back there?”

“Look Hotch, I didn’t want Baylor skipping out the back so…”

“So you charged in without a vest, alone! Morgan, we are a team. We can’t have agents acting like Lone Rangers, and putting their lives in jeopardy!”

Morgan looked down. He knew his boss was right and he was so wrong. He had no defense for his behavior. If someone else had done that he would have jumped all over them.

“Look Hotch…I’m really sorry. I wasn’t thinking.” Morgan said.

Morgan turned his head toward the window not able to meet Hotch’s eyes. Hotch could see that he was struggling.

“I think you should see someone when we get back.”

“I’m fine Hotch, really. I won’t do it again. I’m fine.”

“No you’re not fine, Morgan. You haven’t been fine for months.”

Morgan remained silent. He was right. He hadn’t felt fine in a long time. Most days it was all he could do to get up in the morning and make it to work. Those he loved the most were constantly at risk and he blamed himself. He didn’t care what happened to him. Maybe if he weren’t around…He refused to complete that thought, it was getting into dangerous territory. He would be fine he kept telling himself. He could fix it and soon everything would be back to normal.

Hotch watched Morgan trying desperately to cling on to the emotions and pain that he refused to share. He knew he wouldn’t freely seek help. His trust issues still played a big part in his life. His entire life had been a confirmation that served to solidify his belief that he couldn’t trust anyone.

“You know if you need to talk I’m here.” Hotch continued.

“I know. Thanks.”

Hotch sat for a few more seconds and then stood and returned to his seat. Morgan exhaled hoping that he had dodged the therapy bullet. He placed the headset back on leaned back and closed his eyes again.

FBI Headquarters – gym – Wednesday morning
Derek arrived early to the gym, earlier than usual. He felt the weight of the past months on his entire body and he was physically and emotionally exhausted. He didn’t want to run into any of the other agents so he picked a time when the place would be empty. As he lifted the heavy weights and worked every muscle of his body he replayed the conversation with Hotch on the jet the night before. He was irritated that he’d been questioned about his behavior even though he had acted irresponsibly. He didn’t know if he was irritated because he was being held accountable or because he hadn’t been as skillful as he’d thought in hiding the fact that he was emotionally in trouble. He had worked hard all of his life to achieve all that he had acquired and he’d worked even harder to be a man that didn’t need anyone, and even though he valued the hearts and lives of those around him and took great care in protecting his loved ones, he rejected the same care from those who loved him. He absolutely could not tolerate weakness in himself. Carl Buford had made him weak and he promised himself that if he escaped his life as a young boy he would never allow anyone to make him weak again and so he kept everyone away from his heart.

After an hour or so, Morgan put on the boxing gloves and began pounding the heavy bag that hung from the ceiling in the rear corner of the room. Sweat dripping like rain from his body still he pounded, over and over. Each blow seemed to have a face and a meaning and a place in his life. He could see Carl’s wicked smile taunting him, touching him against his will so he swung landing a solid blow that sent dust flying in the air, then he saw the man who had gunned his father down in front of him, so he swung, he saw the tragedies of his past, those who’d robbed him of his childhood and stole his father’s life. He swung at the image of Battle who had shot Garcia and the men who’d hurt her only weeks ago. Ian Doyle, the face of pure evil and who had haunted Emily and caused her to run from him and the rest of her family. He lost himself in the pounding and hadn’t realized that he was no longer alone in the room.

She quietly entered the gym slowly walking toward him as he pounded away his back to her. He didn’t see or hear her enter. She chuckled to herself as she looked around the small, musty room because she had in all the twenty plus years that she’d worked for the bureau, never stepped foot in this place.

“I feel sorry for that poor bag. Anybody I know?” She said announcing her presence.

Morgan was shocked when he turned and saw Erin Strauss standing watching him dressed in her typical business suit and pumps. This was not a place he ever expected to see the Section Chief.

“Ma’am?”  Morgan removed his boxing gloves.

“Agent Morgan we need to talk.”

“Okay. I’m about finished I can meet you in your office in a few minutes.” Morgan grabbed his towel and wiped his face.

“No. We need to talk now.” She stared intently at him.

“Fine.” He continued to wipe the sweat from his arms and upper body.

Strauss forced herself to focus on the reason she was there and not be distracted by the obviously gorgeous man in front of her. Morgan crossed his arms defensively waiting for what was to come next.

“I know we haven’t been on the best of terms lately since…”

“…Since you sent me on that suicide mission you mean?” He interrupted.

“Look, I owe you an apology for that. I know you think I had an ulterior motive but…”

“Look with all due respect, ma’am, I don’t think we should talk about this.”

“Agent Morgan, I heard about your actions on your last case.”

“I told Hotch I didn’t want the UNSUB to escape. It won’t happen again.”

“No. It won’t. I think you need to get some help.”

“I’m fine.”

“No you are far from fine. In fact, I’m ordering you to get help.”

Strauss handed Morgan a white envelope. Confused, he reluctantly takes it from her.

“What’s this?”

“I’m sending you to Serenity Streams for a week. It’s the same place that helped me.”

“What! Are you kidding? Just because of one case? No way! I told you I’m fine.”

“I’m trying to keep you from making the same mistakes I did by not addressing the fact that you’re in trouble.”

Morgan looked at Strauss and then the envelope and began pacing. He felt his temper boiling. He didn’t want to go to therapy. It wasn’t like he had a drug or drinking problem. He didn’t need to talk to a shrink just because he’d hot-dogged it on a case. After all, it hadn’t been the first time but he always got the job done.

“Okay, I get it. This is payback. You weren’t able to get me killed on that suicide mission so now you want to label me as a cripple, no, no way, Strauss! I’m not doing it!”

“Then I’m suspending you… indefinitely until you see someone and you will not be allowed back until I’m confident you have addressed your issues! Your choice.”

“Strauss, why are you doing this to me? I wasn’t trying to destroy you when I called you out on your drinking I thought I was helping you!”

“Trust me, it’s not about my drinking or you finding out about it.”

“Then what’s this about? I’m telling you there’s nothing wrong with me!”

“When you first called me out, I was furious. I wanted to pay you back. When I went through rehab I spent my first few days outraged. But it’s the best gift anyone could have given me. You, Agent Morgan saved my life. I’d almost ruined my relationship with my kids, I could have even ruined my career not to mention my health.”

Morgan rubbed the back of his neck and head. He felt trapped and knew that there was nothing he could do but follow her orders.

“I’m just trying to return the favor. They’re expecting you at noon today.”  She added.

Strauss turned and left the gym. Agent Derek Morgan standing alone, furious and speechless watched as she closed the door behind her.

Lenny’s Diner – One hour later
Derek and Penelope sat at a corner booth near the window in silence. Derek was still upset and Penelope stared at him as they both sat their food and coffee growing cold.

“Maybe it’s not such a bad idea.” She offered.

Derek looked up unable to believe his ears.

“What? So, you think I’m crazy too?”

“Derek, you’re not crazy! This was going bad, she thought to herself.

“You haven’t been yourself for a while now. The nightmares are getting worse, your tense, your always in a bad mood and…”

“…And what?”

“Well, I know we said we were going to take it slow but I thought by now we would have…”

She wasn’t sure how to explain to him that she’d expected more since they’d both confessed that they had feelings for each other. They had always been close but since Ellie’s death he’d been distant. He seemed to be far away emotionally and she wasn’t sure how to talk to him about it or help him. She knew he was grieving and things just kept getting in the way of them starting a normal relationship together. She had no doubt that he loved her, she loved him but they still seemed to be drifting apart and she was afraid she’d lose him to whatever demons where tearing him apart. Maybe a week of intense therapy would be the answer he needed, that they needed.

“What, tell me. What?”

“I thought we would have made love by now.”

Derek was mortified. He’d been so wrapped up in his stuff, his misery that he had forgotten about the one person he loved more than anything. He had forgotten that his life, his feelings didn’t just affect him anymore but it also affected Penelope. He had been selfish and she had waited patiently for him to come around and return to the man she’d fallen in love with. Now he knew he didn’t deserve her. He looked into her eyes, filled with tears and he gently grabbed her hands that were placed on the table. In that instant the decision was made. He had to go not for Strauss or Hotch or his job. If he wanted a future with Penelope he had to do whatever was necessary to be healthy. She deserved that much.

“Baby Girl…I’m sorry. I’ve been a selfish ass! Can you forgive me?”

“Derek I love you I just want you to be whole again.” She said her voice trembling.

“I’m just afraid that if I allow myself to go to those dark places I won’t be able to make it back.” He couldn’t look at her.

“Derek, Baby. You can do this I know you can. You’ll make it back and I’ll be waiting right here for you when you do.”

“Is that a promise?”

“It’s a promise.”

Serenity Streams – Afternoon
The limo pulled into the iron-gated estate. Strauss apparently didn’t trust Morgan to get himself to the facility so she had sent a car to pick him up. The grounds were lush with greenery and beautiful colorful tropical foliage. The narrow dirt road leading to the plantation-style main building creaked under the wheels of the long car. Morgan couldn’t help but notice the quiet atmosphere the sounds of the birds seemed to be magnified and echoed off the trees. It was odd that he didn’t see any other patients. He expected to see old men and women walking around dressed in pajamas, wrapped in seersucker or terry cloth robes and moving about like zombies, expressionless drugged out and unaware of where they were. Instead all he saw was well-manicured land and utter quiet and he realized that he had never felt so alone in his life.

Just as the driver stopped in front of the main building, and came around to open the door for Morgan an older man dressed in a gray pinstriped suit approached smiling. His smile was no doubt supposed to make him feel at ease but it wasn’t working. All Morgan could do was look around at the building and the property for a possible escape.

“Mr. Morgan!” The man said extending his hand toward him.

Without replying he reached and shook the man’s hand.

“Welcome to Serenity Streams! Please follow me.”

Reluctantly Morgan followed the man inside and into a large cluttered office. The man motioned for him to sit at one of two leather chairs in front of a desk. The man then made himself comfortable in the tufted leather high back chair behind the desk.

“My name is Dr. Emmanuel Sykes. I hope your drive up was okay.”

Morgan still did not respond as he stared intently at the man.

“Look, Mr. Morgan, I’m well aware that you do not want to be here. In fact, you’re no different than many of our guests who’ve stayed here. But I promise if we work together, you’ll appreciate your stay with us.” He continued.

“Look, Dr. Sykes.” He emphasized the man’s title. “First it’s Agent Morgan. Second, I’m only here because it’s the only way I can get back on the job. So, let’s cut the chit chat and tell me what I have to do to get the hell out of here!”

Agent Morgan, while you are here you will be addressed as, ‘Mister Morgan.’ Hopefully we will eventually become friends and be on a first name basis but as long as you’re with us we will recognize you as you, no titles, just you.”

Morgan felt his blood boiling all over again. This wasn’t going to work. He could imagine his hands around this man’s scrawny neck and squeezing until he gasped for air. He quickly shook the vision from his mind and tried to focus on getting through this first meeting.

“We find that a lot of problems are tied up in what we have become, our accomplishments and how we feel others see us because of our titles which in actuality have nothing to do with who we are at our core.”

“What the hell kind of mumbo jumbo is this man talking about?” Morgan thought as he sat there facing the man who was now in charge of his life for the next seven days.

“Fine. Let’s get this over with.” Morgan surrendered to being miserable for the next week.

For the next several minutes Morgan was given an extensive tour of the grounds, the cafeteria, the chapel, the conference rooms, examination rooms, the dozens of private garden areas and finally his quarters. It all was impressive but it didn’t change Morgan’s mind about being there. He resolved to play the game; he was a profiler after all and knew all the games. He was sure that they had probably had a hand in developing some of the mind games this place used on their “guests”. After he was shown to his room, Dr. Sykes handed him a sheet of paper that listed the rules of Serenity Streams, no use of cell phones, no television, lights out at 10p.m., no visitors, no leaving the grounds without permission, no outside food…it was confirmed…he was in hell!

BAU Headquarters –
The team was headed to New York on a case involving the killings of three police officers. The atmosphere in the conference room was tense and as Hotch laid out the particulars of the case, the rest of the team sat distracted by the fact the Morgan was not among them. No one had bothered to tell them where he was and Penelope hadn’t had a chance to share the details with JJ, Spencer and Rossi. As the pictures of the three victims were illuminated on the board it was obvious that Hotch wasn’t going to fill them in on Morgan’s whereabouts unless one of them had the courage to ask.

“Officers Terrance Malcovich, Omar Reid and Troy Evans were found dead in an abandon warehouse in New York’s financial district. Each victim had been sodomized and castrated then shot execution style in the back of the head.” Hotch explained.

“There’s a lot of rage in these killings.” Rossi observed.

“Judging by the fact that there wasn’t a lot of evidence at the scene except the victims’ blood, I’d say this was a very organized killer.” JJ added.

“A very angry, and patient organized killer. This was personal.” Reid chimed in.

“NYPD needs our help. Anyone willing to kill cops is extremely bold and dangerous. Let’s find him before we loose any more.” Hotch added.

The team headed toward the elevators as Garcia returned to her lair. She dialed Morgan’s cell and after four rings the call went straight to voicemail. She knew this would be a case that would be right up his alley being that he was formerly a Chicago police officer. It was odd that he hadn’t answered his cell but perhaps he had already begun a session or group. She decided to call him later if nothing more but to say goodnight and remind him that she loved him and was routing for him.

Dr. Sykes’ office – Later
Dr. Sykes was seated at his desk reviewing their newest guest’s file. He was impressed with what it contained and he felt confident that they would be quite successful this week with one Mr. Derek Morgan.

A knock at the doorway interrupted Dr. Sykes. Cameron Magee, one of the therapists on staff stood waiting to be allowed in the office. A smile spread across Dr. Sykes’ face as he waved her in.

“Ahh…please, come in.”

“You look happy. What’s going on?” She asked as she sat in the same chair that Morgan had occupied only minutes ago.

“Remember Erin Strauss, the FBI Section Chief who was here about two months ago?”

“Of course. She had a drinking problem.”

“Yes, yes. Exactly.”

“She did extremely well with the program.” Cameron added.

“Well, she referred a new patient to us. One of her agents who seems to be suffering from a severe case of PTSD.”

“Oh. Sounds promising. Do you think he’s a good candidate for our new program?”

“Most definitely.” He hands Morgan’s file across the desk to her. “Take a look. He’s just what we’ve been looking for.” Sykes beamed.

The other doctor smiled as she reviewed the file before handing it back to Sykes.

“He meets all of the physical and mental requirements. In fact, he’s the best subject that we’ve seen come through since we’ve begun this little, “project” of yours.”

“You’re right! When Mr. Morgan leaves here in a week he’ll feel like a new man and we’ll have what we need to go to the next phase of our mission!”

“I hope you’re right, Doctor. The last three subjects that you were certain were perfect candidates ended up dead!”

“Well, not this time! Derek Morgan is just what we’ve been looking for.”

“I hope you’re right. We can’t afford to lose another person and risk being exposed. Everything is riding on this.”

“I know that better than anyone.”

“So, when do we start?”

“Immediately.”

Meanwhile…
Derek walked along the beautiful grounds thinking about Penelope and hating the fact that he wouldn’t be able to see or talk to her for a whole week. He hated Strauss for forcing him to be here. He was fine! This was a place for drug addicts and drunks and he was neither!  So far he had been able to manage his emotions and the nightmares. Sure it had been a bad year but he was still able to do his job. He’d even found the courage to confess his feelings to Penelope and they were working on building a life together. He had to talk to her. He didn’t care what the rules were he had to talk to his Baby Girl.

Finding a secluded bench away from the main building, Morgan sat and pulled out his cell phone and dialed Penelope’s number.

“Hello Gorgeous. I thought you’d forgotten about me already.”

“No way I could ever forget you, Baby Girl.”

“So, how’s it going?” She asked hopeful.

“I hate it! They have all these rules, no phones, no visitors, no leaving, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.”

“Hang in there. You can do this. I know you can.”

“So what’s going on there?”

“The team is headed to New York. Three cops have been killed execution style and we’ve been called in to help.”

“Damn! I should be in New York with the team! This is so wrong!”

“Listen, I’ll send you the case file so you can take a look. Maybe if you have some free time...”

“Thanks Garcia but I don’t want you getting in trouble. I know Hotch told you not to talk to me about any cases while I’m gone.”

“Yes he did but what Hotch doesn’t know…”

“...He’ll figure out.” He interrupted. “Baby, I don’t want you risking your job for me.”

“You let me worry about that.”

There was a pause as Morgan closed his eyes for a moment wanting to say so much to her but not really knowing where to begin.

“Penelope…I’m sorry for how I’ve been acting these past few months. You’ve been patient, supportive, loving and I don’t deserve you. Can you forgive me?”

“Derek, there’s nothing to be sorry about. You’ve been through a lot but now you’re in a place where you can get better.”

“Yea, I hope so. This place is creepy. I’ve been here three hours already and I haven’t seen any other patients. If I didn’t know any better I’d swear I was the only one here.”

“Eww, that is creepy. I was thinking; I believe Strauss really is trying to make amends and trying to help.”

“That remains to be seen. I better go, before they find out I’ve broken one of the rules.”

“Okay. I love you Derek Morgan.”

“I love you Penelope Garcia.”

Morgan ends the call just as an attendant approaches. The tall heavyset man dressed in white stops in front of him obviously angry but without saying a word holds out his hand. Morgan looks up knowing that he has been discovered and without protest hands the man the phone, more confirmation that he had been locked down in the bowels of Hell.

Later…

New York – Manhattan Division- Evening
The team had arrived several hours ago and still had not had a break in the case. While sifting through the evidence another cop had been found murdered. Hotch couldn’t help but think that the team could really use Morgan’s help. It always placed a strain on them when one of them was missing. He hadn’t explained to the others why Morgan was not there and he knew that sooner or later one of them would muster the courage to ask.

Strauss had decided to join them but she wasn’t much help probably because she wasn’t a profiler and she never really fully understood how they did what they did. She also had an ulterior motive in going to New York. She had screwed up and she wanted to find a way to get back into Dave’s good graces. The two of them had secretly spent time in the City alone and she missed what they had begun to build together. She didn’t know how to make him understand why she sent Morgan on that case against Verdano. Perhaps she did want payback but she wasn’t ready to admit that she’d risk an agent’s life just for revenge. She was angry when Morgan discovered her drinking problem and forced her in a position where she had to address her problem, still, it wasn’t why she had done what she had done.

Rehab had shown her some unpleasant things about herself that she had been avoiding for years. She had seen some recent signs of cracks in Morgan that she would have missed had she not gone to Serenity Streams. He was furious just like she had been furious but she owed him, owed him her life and she wanted to repay the favor. Whether he ever realized it or not she admired him and appreciated him for standing up to her and forcing her to get help.

Serenity Streams – Later
Morgan struggled to move. His hands and feet felt heavy as he fought through what felt like a thick haze to open his eyes. He looked around into the darkness confused unable to move, to stand. “Where was he?” he thought. The haze slowly began to clear and his mind tried desperately to sift through the confusion and blackness.

“Hello!” he yelled. “Is anybody here?”

The room was silent, black and cold. No one answered and he tried to think back to the last thing he remembered. The last thing he could remember was walking back to his room after losing his cell phone to one of the attendants. Suddenly a bright light flicked on over his head and he struggled to adjust his eyes to the harshness that seemed to shower over him then the sound of a door opening and closing.

“Hello, Mr. Morgan.” Dr. Sykes appeared and smiled in front of him.

“What the hell is going on, Sykes?” Derek’s speech was slurred.

“I see the drug is still on board. Don’t worry it will wear off in time.”

“Drug? Why?”

“Just something to help you relax. You seemed a little tense earlier.”

Derek looked down at his arms and struggled against the thick leather restraints. His feet were restrained in similar bindings.

“Get me out of this! I didn’t sign up for whatever sick therapy you’ve got going on here!”

“Now, now, Mr. Morgan take it easy. When we’re all done you won’t remember a thing. Your life will return to normal and you’ll have me to thank.”

Out of nowhere two large men appeared dressed in white, one of them was the man that had taken his phone earlier, and stood on either side of him. Sykes walked over to a small cart with vials of a clear liquid and grabbed a syringe and with one of the vials filled the syringe.

“Now, hold still, this won’t hurt a bit.”

Morgan continued to struggle as the two men placed a firm hand on his shoulders holding him in place. Morgan cursed and struggled wishing he could have five seconds of Strauss’s time to choke the life out of her for this.

“No! Don’t do this!” he yelled.

The next thing Morgan felt was a sharp prick in his right forearm before everything went black.

One Week Later…

Home of Derek Morgan – Morning
Penelope watched impatiently through the front window of Derek’s home. She had missed him terribly and the team was still in New York wrapping up the cop killing case. Her heart leaped when the long black limo pulled up. Just as the driver opened the door for Derek she ran out to meet him at the curb. He smiled and swooped her up in his arms and hugged her for dear life. The driver moved to the trunk to grab his bags. Just as Derek released Penelope from his bear hug, the man without saying a word handed him his phone back.

As the two walked toward the house the limo pulled away.

“I missed you handsome! This was the longest week of my life.” Penelope sighed.

“I missed you too.” Derek responded.

The two walked into the house and immediately Derek relaxed. Home at last. Clooney padded up to his owner sniffing and walking around him. Derek reached out to touch him but Clooney nipped at his hand and backed away. Puzzled, Derek approached him again to pet the overgrown puppy and again Clooney rejected him.

“What’s wrong, boy? I haven’t been gone that long have I?”

Penelope watched this odd encounter but for the moment brushed it off. She was just happy he was home. She had prepared a wonderful dinner, Derek’s favorite and lots of wine. He followed her into the kitchen and sat at the small kitchen table while she finished preparing the meal.

The two ate in relative silence. Penelope watched him. He looked rested, happy, in a good mood, yet something was off. He seemed good, too good and she wasn’t buying it more than that Clooney wasn’t buying it either.

His head was splitting. He’d been bothered by a headache for the last two days and he tried explaining it away as just the stress of being forced to be in that crazy place against his will for the past week. Now he was home, with Penelope, he was happy, healthy and ready to get back to work and his normal life.

“So tell me about the case. They took my phone before I could get the file you sent me.” He said taking another bite of his food.

“It seems that all of the cops had one person in common; an attorney with the Public Defender’s office, Millicent Parker. When Millicent was in law school she was out with some friends. After leaving a bar in midtown, she was stopped by two beat cops. According to police reports, Terrance Malcovich and Omar Reid were accused of dragging Millicent into an abandoned building and raping her. The two then drove her to a friend’s house, fellow officer Troy Evans where he and our fourth victim, officer Marco Bates proceeded to rape her.”

“This is one of those cases where you actually route for the UNSUB. Let me guess, the cops got off.”

“You got it!”

Morgan rubbed his temples trying to hide his discomfort but Penelope noticed.

“Are you okay?”

“I’ve never been better.” He responded almost robotically.

She wasn’t buying it but decided to drop it for now. They finished dinner and cleaned up the kitchen together and headed to the living room for movies and cuddling.

Serenity Streams – Afternoon
Dr. Sykes had high hopes for his latest subject. He was young, intelligent, physically fit. He was stubborn and strong-willed which admittedly had caused a problem initially but he was confident that they had managed to break him. He’d passed all of the initial tests but they had safe guards in place just in case something went wrong.

The last three unfortunately hadn’t worked out as he’d hoped. The human mind is such a fragile and often unpredictable thing. They were running out of time and their clients were growing impatient. After the last man had died, Dr. Sykes had begun to doubt if he’d be able to meet his deadline. When his former patient Erin Strauss had sent her agent to him he knew he’d hit the lottery.


As he sat dictating his notes, he felt extremely proud of what he had accomplished this past week. With each subject he’d been able to improve his process and he chocked up the headaches each one seemed to suffer from as a necessary means to an end. Otherwise, his plan was near perfect built with it’s own problem solver-no one would ever suspect a bullet to the temple as anything other than suicide. “Sheer genius.” He thought to himself. Derek Morgan was about to make him a very rich man; it was a shame that he had to die in the process.

To be continued…