DISCLAIMER: The X-files and its characters belongs to Chris Carter, 1013 Productions and Fox Entertainment. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: If you're a fan of Mulder you may want to pass. My eternal thanks to Celievamp for the great beta. This work is better because of your help. All mistakes are my own. Constructive is feedback welcome. A special thank you to Bara_brith and Yellowsmurf6 you both know why!
SPOILERS: Set somewhere in the first half of season six.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Weak in the Knees
By Dhamphir

 

Chapter 37

"Agent Scully?"

Scully was sipping bitter vending machine coffee while pacing, and startled slightly when she heard her name. She turned and looked into the worried face of the Director.

"Sir."

"How's Jessica?"

"I don't know, sir. She was wearing a vest, but a bullet caught her in the side, missing the Kevlar. She lost a lot of blood, but seemed to have a good pulse."

The Director took out his handkerchief. He reached out and dabbed it against the side of Scully's neck at her collar. "You're bleeding."

Scully immediately brought her hand up, holding the handkerchief in place as the Director withdrew his hand.

"You should have that looked at."

Thinking quickly, she said, "I'm fine, sir. It's just a nick from debris – probably a chip of cement." She pulled the handkerchief away and looked at it. "See? Just a couple of drops." She held it out for the Director take back, but he waved her off.

"Keep it."

She buttoned another button on her shirt, closing the collar up a little more.

They waited a few more minutes before Dr. Thomas came out to speak with them.

"Agent Morgan is being prepped for surgery to remove a bullet. It appears to have entered her side, injuring her lung and damaging her liver. The liver was the source of most of her blood loss. Somehow, the bleeding seems to have lessened on its own, so while it's a concern, it's not our greatest concern."

"What is?" Scully asked.

"The location of the bullet; it's lodged against her spine."

Scully's heart dropped. "Cord damage?"

"We don't know yet – won't know until afterwards."

"I want your best surgeon working on her," the Director declared.

"You have her. Dr Kerry Kelvin is the best on the coast."

"Good." He paused for a beat. "What about the gunman?"

"He's on his way to surgery as well, but I wasn't on the team that worked on him. I'll have Dr Mendez come and talk to you about him."

"Thank you."

The doctor left.

It was only a minute or so before Dr Mendez came out to talk to the Director. "How can I help you?"

"Tell me about the shooter."

"He sustained three gunshot wounds – one in his left shoulder and one in his arm. The third bullet hit his head in a grazing strike, creating a gouge about two inches long above his left ear, but not entering the skull. He's been taken up to surgery."

"Did he say anything?"

"He was unconscious when brought in, but he did come to. However, he was combative and uncooperative, so we were forced to sedate him."

"What did he say? Did he tell you his name?"

"No. All he did was rant about some woman in very profane terms. Unless there are some unexpected complications, he should be fine."


After talking with the doctors, Scully and the Director went up to the surgical waiting room. After a while, Casper joined them. He'd been seen in the ER and had his left arm bandaged and in a sling.

"Any news on Jessica?" he asked.

Scully shook her head.

He sat next to her and put his right hand over one of hers, giving it a squeeze. "She's been through much worse and come out okay. She'll be alright."

Scully wanted to believe that, but she wouldn't until she saw it for herself. She suspected that Jess hadn't taken nearly as much blood as she really needed to heal. She stood and walked to the windows. She looked out but didn't really see anything. She closed her eyes and recalled what she felt when Jess bit her. It wasn't like anything she had expected. The pain had lasted only a moment, a fraction of a second. Then she felt... well, she began to understand how some people got addicted to it. Even now, just thinking about it, she was feeling the peacefulness... and the arousal that had filled her during those... moments? seconds? minutes?

Scully opened her eyes and took a slow, deep breath. She finally knew what she wanted... what she needed. She needed Jess in her life and in her arms. She was in love with Jess. And if Jess occasionally needed blood she would willingly supply it.

Scully suddenly gasped as a feeling of... of... There was no word that described what she felt, but she knew something was wrong... with Jess. She knew it with unquestionable certainty. She turned and marched through the doors that led to the surgical floor. With the air of authority and determination that surrounded her no one questioned her presence as she marched to her destination.

Scully opened the door to the observation room above an operating room. It was the right one because she could see Jess on the table below. The doctors and nurses were working on her, trying to get her heartbeat back. Finally they got it back. She watched until that indescribable feeling she had was gone... until she knew Jess was stable. Only then did she leave the observation room.


Casper was sitting quietly with his head back against the wall and his eyes halfway closed. The painkillers he'd been given had really kicked in.

AD Taylor arrived and approached the Director. He had some bad news for him.

"WHAT?! Are you sure?"

"There's no doubt; it's him, sir. We have the disposable phone he used, the gun he used and his wallet. I don't have ballistics yet, but I'd be surprised if it didn't match what we took out of the wall at the safe house."

"Son of a bitch! I want that bastard's ass. Make sure there are guards on him 24/7. As soon as the doctors say it's safe to move him, I want him locked up. I want you to interrogate him personally. No one else gets near him."

"Yes, sir." Taylor paused. "Any word on Morgan?"

"Not yet. They said the bullet is lodged against her spine."

"Damn."

"Taylor, no mistakes on this. He tried to kill a couple of my agents and he's screwed with this investigation. I want him put away and no chance he'll get off."

With a nod, Taylor left.


Scully came back to the waiting room and sat down next to Casper.

"Any news about Jessica?" he asked.

She shook her head. "Anything going on here?"

"Taylor came and spoke to the Director. I didn't hear their conversation, but the Director was really pissed."

It was a long two and half hours later when Morgan's surgeon came out. "Who's here for Jessica Morgan?" she asked.

All three people in the waiting room stood up, although Casper was a little slower than the others.

"We are," said the Director. He made the introductions.

"Does Agent Morgan have any family present?"

"She doesn't have any family. How is she?"

"Lucky to be alive. The bullet entered her side, injuring both her liver and her lung. It then lodged in an intervertebral disc." She shook her head. "The amount of bleeding was remarkably little considering the damage path."

"But you got the bullet out, right?"

"Yes." She handed a small plastic container to him with the retrieved slug in it. "I'm sure you want this."

"Thank you."

Scully couldn't take it anymore. "What about her spine? Was there any cord damage? And loss of function?" she asked.

"Due to the trauma there's some swelling in the area. We've got her on a steroidal anti-inflammatory to treat it. We won't know for sure if there will be any loss of function until the inflammation goes down."

"Can we see her?"

"She's in recovery right now. Once they move her to the ICU you can visit her – one at a time. I'll have someone let you know when you can see her."

"Thank you, Doctor," said the Director.

Dr. Kelvin left the waiting room.

The Director looked at Casper. "How are you feeling?"

"I'm okay; just a little tired."

"After we see Jessica I want you to go get some sleep." His tone made it clear it was an order.

Casper nodded. The truth was he desperately needed some sleep. It was almost 5:00 in the morning and the medication was making it difficult to stay awake.

"What about the suspect? When he comes to we need to interview him," Scully pointed out.

"He will be interrogated, but I'm afraid you can't be a part of it, Agent Scully."

"Why not? I've been working this case with Jess for over a month."

"Because the shooter is Agent Fox Mulder. You're not to go near him or talk to him, Agent Scully."

"What?!" Scully was shocked. "He can't be the Reaper."

"He's not, but he is the shooter."

Casper nodded. "Mulder has hated Jessica for years; ever since we were all in the VCU together."

"I knew he had a problem with Jess, but I never imagined he'd try to kill her," said Scully.

"He's messed with this investigation as well. He's had you concentrating on identifying him rather than the real Reaper. Who knows how many of the deaths could have been prevented if he hadn't had you following false leads," the Director growled angrily. "He'll be lucky if I don't find a way to charge him with at least of couple of the murders as a result."

"Excuse me."

They turned toward the nurse who had entered. She let them know they could see Jessica.

The Director went in first. Then Casper.

Scully looked at the Director before going in to see Jess. "I'm going to stay with Jess, so she won't be alone when she wakes up."

He nodded. "Very well." He gave her his private number. "Call me to let me know how she's doing."

"Yes, sir."


Jess looked so pale, and was still as death. The only movement was the slight rise and fall of her chest as she breathed. She didn't look like she should. She didn't have the air of determination and drive that usually clung to her. Also missing were the worry lines that subtly wizened her face. She looked so young and innocent.

Dana looked at the readouts on the monitors. Her heart rate and blood pressure should be higher. She moved to the side of Jess's bed and took her hand into one of her own. She reached up and tenderly brushed some hair from her forehead. "Jess..." A lump in her throat made it hard to speak. She swallowed and tried again. "Jess... I need you to be alright." A couple of tears spilled and ran down her cheeks. "Come back to me, Jess... I love you."

Dana pulled the chair closer to the bed and sat down. She sat down and held onto Jess's hand, not able to let go of that lifeline.

She woke up a couple of hours later as a nurse was checking Jess's vitals.

The nurse smiled at her. "Good morning."

"Morning."

"I'm Ruth."

"Agent Scully – Dana." She looked at Jess's face.

"She's hasn't woken up yet, but all of her vitals have been stable," Ruth said, trying to reassure Scully.

 

Chapter 38

He threw the file down on his desk in disgust. He was so angry he could no longer sit. It was only 11:15 in the morning, but he poured himself a bourbon anyway. He glared at Taylor. "How the hell did this guy ever pass the psych evaluation? Flying saucers, the government in a conspiracy with aliens, drilling holes in his head, faking his own suicide? What the hell was going on with this bastard and why was it allowed to go on so damn long?"

"I don't know, sir. According to his file he was a gifted profiler when he was in the Violent Crimes Unit. Then he apparently got all caught up in the X-Files. I've never worked with him before. The X-Files division is under AD Skinner."

The Director walked back to his desk and picked up his phone, calling his assistant. "Stacy? Get a hold of AD Skinner. I want to meet with him this afternoon. And get me everything you can on the X-Files Division." He hung up.


It was 3:45 when Dr. Kelvin came to check on Jess. She found Scully asleep in the chair, still holding her hand.

The doctor uncovered the end of the bed and Morgan's feet. She ran the handle of a mallet along the bottom of Jess's feet to see which way they curled. Kelvin then pushed the covers up further and slipped a hand behind a knee, lifting it slightly. She then tapped below the kneecap with the mallet to test the reflex arc. She repeated with the other knee. Scully woke up while she recovered Jess's legs and feet.

Kelvin smiled. "She has normal reflexes – a very good sign."

"Thank God."


When Casper woke up he looked at the clock. He'd been asleep for over 12 hours. He carefully dressed and left the hotel to go to the hospital. He wanted to see how his old partner was doing. He walked into her hospital room a little after 7:00 in the evening. Scully was still there.

"How is she doing?" he asked.

"According to the surgeon she has good reflexes, so the swelling around her spine has gone down and she's not paralyzed."

"Thank goodness." He gazed at the redhead for a moment. "How are you doing?" He was surprised to see her bright, blue eyes water.

"I'm relieved she's not paralyzed, but I'm worried she hasn't woken up yet." She paused. "And I'm angry as hell she went off on her own and got shot in the first place."

"Yet you're still here," he pointed out gently.

She nodded. "Because, even though I only met her five weeks ago, I'm in love with her." She wiped at her eyes. "I'm here because I want her in my life."

"You mean that?" came softly from the bed and was accompanied by a light squeeze on Dana's hand.

"Jess!" Dana jumped up and looked at the brunette.

Casper moved to the foot of the bed and smiled. "Welcome back, partner."

She tried to swallow. "Thanks."

Scully poured some water into a cup and put a straw into it. She held it so Jess could carefully take a sip. "Just a sip."

"Thank you." She gazed up into the Dana's eyes. "Did you mean it? Even after everything... do you really want me in your life?" she asked softly.

Dana nodded and took Jess's hand in her own again. "Yes, I do. I love you."

This time it was Jess's eyes that watered. "I love you, too."

Dana bent down tenderly kissed Jess's lips.

John cleared his throat while smiling widely. It wasn't enough to get the women to stop kissing. However, when a second person cleared their throat Dana stood up, blushing.

"It's nice to see you awake, Agent Morgan," said Dr. Kelvin. "If you'll excuse us, I need to examine my patient."

"Right. I'll be going. I'll stop by tomorrow, Jessica."

"Thanks for being here, John."

"Of course, kiddo." He turned to go.

"I'll wait outside," Dana said, giving Jess's hand a squeeze.

Dr. Kelvin nodded, but Jess stopped her.

"No. You can stay, Dana." Jess didn't let go of her hand.

Dana looked at the doctor.

"If it's alright with her it's alright with me."


When Dana and Jess were once again alone, Dana sat on the edge of the bed. "I love you, Jess... but I am angry with you. You shouldn't have gone off alone to meet him."

"It was the only way."

"No, it wasn't. You could have trusted me to have your back."

"It wasn't a matter of trust, Dana. I do trust you, more than you know."

"Then why?"

"Because it was the only way I could be sure you and John were safe... especially you," she finished softly. "The Reaper never threatened my life, only yours and John's." Jess saw something pass behind Dana's eyes. "What is it?"

"It wasn't the Reaper."

"What?"

"The caller... the one who left the messages... he wasn't the Reaper."

Jess closed her eyes and sighed. "I was afraid of that. His behavior didn't fit the profile." She opened her eyes. "Who was he?"

Dana looked away, feeling betrayed and heartsick.

Jess carefully reached up and, with her hand on Dana's cheek, turned her head back to look in her eyes. "Hey, what's wrong?"

"It was Mulder. He's the one behind the break-ins, the messages in blood, the threats, the calls... he did it all. He's the one who tried to kill you."

Jess gently tugged until Dana leaned down and she could wrap her arms around the redhead. "Oh, Dana, I'm sorry."

Dana finally let a few tears go. "I never knew he could... I knew he could go off the deep end sometimes, but I never thought he'd do something like this. I'm so sorry, Jess. I should have–"

"Shhh... You don't have anything to feel guilty about. It's not your fault, Dana; it's not your fault." Jess held Dana until she stopped crying. When Dana sat back up Jess looked into her puffy eyes. "I'm sorry you got pulled into the mess between me and Mulder."

"It's not your fault either. He's the one that did this."

"Have you spoken to him?"

Dana shook her head. "The Director ordered me to stay away from him. They moved him to prison a few hours ago."


Jess finally convinced Dana to go home and get some sleep in her own bed. After Dana left, Jess made a few phone calls. One to Lindsey MacRusso. She asked Mac to make arrangements for all their stuff on the private key to be transported to DC. John's things were to be sent to his hotel room, Dana's things to her apartment, and Jess's things to her office.

Her second call was to a place that made deliveries. She would be alright, but if she didn't have some more blood her recovery would be too slow. She'd wasted enough time dealing with Mulder; she needed to get back to work and find the Reaper. She made arrangements for a delivery first thing in the morning.

Her third call was to the Director. Dana had let him know how Jess was doing, but Jess wanted to talk to him about Mulder.

"What going to happen to Mulder?"

"He's going down. And there's nothing you can say to me that will change my mind this time. I should have had his badge after he assaulted you."

"I told you that was about Toni, Lou. I couldn't fault him for caring about her."

"Well, I've been going over his file and his work on the X-Files. I can't believe this guy is still with the Bureau. He should have been axed a long time ago. I'm surprised he ever passed the psych test."

"Don't forget, Mulder has an advanced degree in Psychology. He knows all the right answers to give and he's very manipulative – always has been. Are you going to have him psychologically evaluated?"

"After going over his files I don't think I have a choice. But I'll be damned if I let him get off because he's crazy!"

"Calm down, Lou. Remember, sane is a legal term, not a medical one. All they have to demonstrate is that he knows right from wrong."

"I'll have someone see him tomorrow. And now, you should be getting some rest. You've been through a lot, Jessica. You need to take care of yourself."

"What I need is to find who the Reaper is and stop him!"

"You're not getting anywhere near the case until a doctor says you can," he retorted.

"I am a doctor, and no one knows my body and what I'm capable of more than I do."

"Be that as it may, no work without a doctor's clearance. That's final."

"Yes, sir."

She hung up. She was angry. She was angry at being sidetracked by Mulder's interference in the investigation; angry with herself for miscalculating and getting shot; and angry with the Reaper for killing so many young women.


Scully woke up early the next morning. She got dressed and headed to the hospital. When she arrived, she found out Jess had been moved from the ICU to a private room.

The head of Jess's bed was elevated so she was sitting up when Dana entered her room. Dana walked over and kissed her. "Good morning."

Jess returned her smile. "It is now. Good morning."

"How do you feel?" Dana asked as she sat on the side of the bed.

"Not bad considering."

Suddenly there was a knock and a woman stood in the open doorway. "Jessica Morgan?"

"Come in."

"You requested a delivery?" she asked somewhat hesitantly with a glance at Scully.

"Yes, thank you," Jess replied, holding out her hand for the brown paper bag.

The woman handed over the bag and made her exit.

Dana made an educated guess as to what was in the bag. "That's blood, isn't it?"

Jess dropped her eyes, feeling ashamed. She simply gave a small nod.

Dana reached out and gently lifted Jess's chin with her fingers so she could look her in the eyes. "Hey, you don't have anything to be ashamed about." She waited until she sensed Jess relax before continuing. "But I do want to talk to you about it."

Jess felt her stomach do a little flip with the trepidation that suddenly filled her. She gave another small nod and tried to brace herself.

Dana took the paper bag and set it on the rolling bed table. She then took Jess's hand in hers. "First, I have a couple of questions."

"Okay."

"At the warehouse, when you took my blood... you didn't take as much as you really needed, did you?"

"No," she answered softly.

"Why not?" Dana asked gently.

"I took what I thought was enough to tide me over until I got to the hospital."

"But it wasn't enough to guarantee you'd live."

"No."

"I need to know why, Jess. I told you to take my blood because I love you and I didn't want you to die. So why didn't you take what you needed?"

"You have to understand, Dana, I've never had human blood – not even donated blood. My whole life it was drummed into me that I should never take human blood, especially directly. There can be consequences, and I don't want anything to happen to you."

"From what you told me there are two things that could possibly happen to me. One is that I might become addicted to you... feeding."

Jess nodded.

"But that doesn't mean I will. The second was something about a bond that could develop between us?"

Jess again nodded.

"What did you mean by that?"

"Sometimes a bond forms between the vampire and human, a kind of connection... an empathy for each other."

"I don't see the problem, Jess."

"What?"

"You need blood to heal." She gestured to the paper bag, "And that will not help you as much as my blood will."

"Dana–"

"I love you, Jess, which means I want what's best for you. That pig's blood isn't." Dana cradled Jess's face in both of her hands, gently pulling her into a kiss. When she felt Jess's lips part slightly she slipped her tongue into her mouth and gently explored it. Dana broke the kiss then guided Jess's lips to her neck. "Please, Jess," she whispered.

 

Chapter 39

Dana's eyes closed at the momentary pain that gave way to the peace and arousal that suffused her entire being. A low moan escaped her lips as she felt their hearts beat as one. Time seemed to bend and stretch. Then Jess stopped, and time snapped back into place. Dana felt Jess's tongue and lips lightly teasing the pulse point at the base of her neck. She sank her fingers in dark, silky hair, then pulled Jess's head back and claimed her mouth in a deep, passionate kiss. She tasted a faint coppery tang on Jess's tongue, but it wasn't unpleasant.

When their lips parted Dana gazed into fathomless, obsidian eyes. They exchanged breath as they panted. Dana rested her forehead against Jess's, closed her eyes and drew in a slow, deep breath.

Jess tenderly took Dana's face in her hands and placed a chaste kiss on her cheek. "I love you, Dana. And when I get out of here, I'll show you just how much." She leaned back against the bed, feeling sleepy. "Just give me a few hours of sleep and I'll be ready to get out of here." Her eyes drifted shut.

Dana stood up. She kissed Jess's forehead. "I need to go to work, but I'll be back. Sleep well." She lowered the head of Jess's bed.

Before leaving, Dana used the bathroom. She was surprised when she checked her appearance in the mirror – the first bite mark was completely gone, and the new bite mark was already well on the way to healing. She simply had two small, inconspicuous marks already scabbed over. Her shirt collar easily hid them.

When she stepped back out into the room Dana stopped and gazed at Jess sleeping in the hospital bed. She didn't know why Jess had come into her life, but she was infinitely grateful. She grabbed the paper bag containing the pig's blood, which she dropped into a biological waste receptacle on the way out.


Scully was surprised when Casper arrived at work about half an hour after she did. She arched an eyebrow at him. "What are you doing here?"

"We still have work to do. We need to identify our Mr. Russell Schiff," he replied and pointed at the picture on one of the boards.

"You should be resting; you were shot."

"My arm's fine. I'm taking Motrin and keeping my arm in the sling. I'm right-handed anyway."

Scully shook her head. "You sound like Jess."

"Oh?"

"Yeah. I went by to see her this morning and she said she'd be ready to leave the hospital later today. Then she fell asleep," she finished with smug amusement.

"I wouldn't bet against her, Dana. She survived an attack by Neil Croskey that would have killed anyone else, and she was out of the hospital in record time."

"She almost died during surgery yesterday, John."

Casper started to argue the point but then stopped when her first sentence sunk in. "What the hell do you mean she almost died during surgery?"

Scully closed her eyes a moment as the painful memory played in her mind. "When I went into the surgical area I watched Jess's surgery from an observation room. They were struggling to get her heart going again. I stayed until they stabilized her."

Casper reached out and gave Scully's shoulder a squeeze. "She's alright, Dana."

She nodded.

"Casper, Scully, come into my office."

The two agents went into AD Taylor's office. "I've got an assignment for you." He eyed Casper. "Are you sure you're up to it, Casper?"

"I'm fine, sir. As I told Agent Scully, I'm right-handed anyway."

"Take Barker, Kennedy and Jackson and go to Philadelphia. We may have a lead on this Russell Schiff guy."

Both Casper and Scully perked up.

"Scully, you're to report to the Director. He's waiting to speak with you."

"Yes, sir."

They both left Taylor's office.

"I'll call and let you know if we come up with anything in Philadelphia."

"Alright."


The Director's assistant, Stacy, greeted Scully when she arrived. "Good morning. You can go on in, Agent Scully, they're waiting for you."

"Thank you." Scully was surprised when she entered and found AD Skinner and a third man with the Director.

"Agent Scully, come in. Have a seat."

"Director, Assistant Director," she greeted them both as she took a seat.

"This is Dr. Carl Harkin. He's the psychiatrist that's going to be examining Mulder. He and I both want to talk with you to get some background," the Director explained.

"Yes, sir."


Scully's phone rang around 1:20 in the afternoon. "Scully."

"Agent Scully, this is Dr Harkin."

"What can I do for you, Doctor?"

"I'm here at the prison to evaluate Mr. Mulder. He's been extremely disruptive here and uncooperative; however, he says he will cooperate if he can see you. Would you consider coming and talking with him? I've already cleared it with the Director, but it is completely up to you."

Scully pinched the bridge of her nose. Did she want to talk to Mulder? It had been almost a month since she'd last seen him on her birthday. For three weeks he had tormented Jess with his notes and messages, he tried to kill Jess, and he shot at her at the safe house. "Alright, Doctor. I'll be there as soon as I can."


After Scully passed through the rigorous security of the Maryland Correctional Adjustment Center in Baltimore, Dr. Harkin was waiting for her. He took her into the visitation room which was empty. There were a number of visitation stalls which were separated from the prisoners by glass windows. They would have to communicate via one of the telephones built into a stall.

"I did make arrangements to meet with Mr. Mulder in a private room, but he attacked me. So, they will only allow him visitation this way," the doctor explained. "He's been so disruptive they've placed him in solitary confinement."

When Mulder was led in, in shackles, Scully was surprised by his appearance. He still had a bandage around his head covering the gouge above his left ear, and his left arm was in a sling. He had a cut above one eyebrow, a swollen, black eye, a split lip and visible bruises on his face. The guard pushed him down into the chair on his side of the window.

With trepidation Scully picked up on the handset on her side.

Mulder gave Scully a cocky smirk as he picked up the phone. "Hey, G-Woman."

"Mulder."

"I haven't seen or talked to you in almost a month, Scully. Is that all you've got to say?"

"And you're a liar. You saw me just fine a week ago Monday when you were taking shots at me!"

"I wasn't shooting at you! I was trying to shoot Morgan!"

"Why?"

"Why? WHY?! I told you working with her could get you killed! I had to show you! I told you she didn't know how to back off. It was the same way with Toni Jeffers – that's why she's dead!"

"Mulder, you are the only one who put my life at risk during this case."

"But I would never hurt you, Scully. You're the only one I trust!"

"Bullshit! You don't trust me. You've always kept secrets from me." She ground her teeth as the years of being lied to, dismissed, deceived, ditched and betrayed boiled over. "You weren't even honest with me about me! You knew what was done to me and you kept it a secret from me!! A friend doesn't betray someone like that."

"But, Scully, I did it for you, to protect you."

"No. You did it for yourself. Everything you do is for and about you! It's just one more thing you won't take responsibility for. You believe every crackpot that crosses your path, but you dismiss my beliefs. You ditch me and run off half-cocked. Your actions have directly threatened my career and my life time and time again – but you never think about that. You don't give a damn about the consequences to others!"

"Scully, you don't understand."

"You're right, I don't. I don't understand at all."

"I love you, Scully!"

She couldn't believe he had the nerve to actually say that after everything he done and put her through. "No, Mulder. You don't love me; you don't know meaning of love." She slammed the receiver down, stood up and walked out. She never wanted to lay eyes on him again.


Scully was too upset to drive back to DC, so she drove to her mother's house.

When Maggie opened the door she knew immediately that something was very wrong. "Dana? What's wrong? Why didn't you use your key?" Then the tears spilled down her daughter's face. Maggie reached out, pulled Dana into her arms, and held her. After a minute or so Maggie let go of Dana, slipped her arm around her waist and led her into the living room. They sat down on the couch together.

Dana snagged a tissue from the box on the end table and wiped her eyes as she sniffed.

"What's wrong, Dana?" Maggie asked gently.

"I just left the state prison... where I visited Mulder."

"What?! Fox is in prison?"

"Yes. I told you he'd been suspended for assaulting Jess."

Maggie nodded. "I remember."

"Well, he's spent the last three weeks interfering with our investigation, and he tried to kill Jess the other night."

Maggie couldn't believe it. "Are you sure?"

"Yes, Mom. He shot Jess and John Casper, another agent. He was arrested at the scene after I shot him."

"Why?"

"Because he's a selfish bastard!" she snapped angrily. "Jess almost died in my arms, Mom." Tears began rolling down her cheeks again. "And they almost lost her during surgery to remove the bullet from where it lodged in her spine."

"Is she okay?" Maggie had really liked the young agent that had come to dinner with her daughter.

"She will be, thank God. John's okay; he was shot in the arm." Dana shook her head. "I just don't understand how he can do such hateful things and then turn around and tell me he loves me."

"He what?"

"He said he loved me. But he doesn't know the meaning of the word."

"What's going to happen to Fox?"

"I don't know, Mom. He shot two agents, made terroristic threats, and interfered with a federal investigation which may have contributed to the deaths of more than one victim." She wiped her eyes again.

"Could he be sick?"

Dana shrugged. "I know he doesn't regret what he did. He was proud of himself today. He's being evaluated by a psychiatrist, but if he knows right from wrong, it won't make a difference. That's all that's required to be legally sane." She paused. "I've disliked people before, but I've never really hated anyone." She looked at her mother. "Right now I hate him, Mom. I hate him and never want to lay eyes on him again. I hope they lock him up for the rest of his life and throw away the key."

Maggie put her arm around Dana's shoulders and pulled her close. Dana laid her head on her mother's shoulder. After several minutes Maggie broke the silence.

"Why don't you stay here tonight?"

Dana sat up straight. "I can't. I have to go back to the hospital to see Jess; I promised her I'd be back tonight. She doesn't have any family, Mom; no brothers or sisters and her both her parents are gone. She's all alone."

Maggie put her hand over Dana's and gave it a squeeze. "Then go be with her. And when she gets out of the hospital bring her here."

Dana looked at her mother in surprise.

Maggie smiled. "Everyone needs someone to care about them. I like her and she can stay here while she gets better."

"I'll make the offer, but don't be surprised if she doesn't take you up on it."

"Well, either way, both of you need to come for dinner at the very least."

Dana smiled. "That I can arrange."

"Good."


Scully was halfway back to DC when her phone rang. "Scully."

"Hey, it's me, John."

"What's going on? Have you found our Mr. Schiff?"

"I'm in Boston. And I think we've got a really good lead on this guy. Someone recognized his face but didn't know from where. What he did remember was that this guy was wearing a brass rat."

"A what?"

"A brass rat. It's a class ring from MIT."

 

Chapter 40

When Scully arrived at the hospital that evening she was surprised to find the Lone Gunmen in Jess's room. They had brought her flowers, candy, and some real food – as opposed to hospital food. Frohike started to give Scully some of his usual overbearing and not very welcome 'charm.' Scully was used to it.

Suddenly Jess cut Frohike off. "Melvin."

He looked at her.

"Be nice."

"Hey, I'm always nice to Scully." He leered. "I'd be even nicer if she'd let me."

Jess crooked her finger at him and he walked over to her. "From now on, you're going to show the proper respect and be well-mannered towards Dana at all times. She's my friend, and I don't ever want to hear that you haven't been on your best behavior." Her grey eyes bored into him. "I shouldn't have to remind you how to behave towards a lady."

He swallowed and his eyes got wide. "No, ma'am. Of course not."

"Good."

Dana had to fight to contain the smirk she felt while watching Frohike cringe. In all the years she'd known them, Mulder never once said anything to Frohike about how he behaved towards her. In fact he took perverse pleasure in Frohike's disrespectful, lecherous behavior towards her. Not that she couldn't handle herself, but it was nice to have someone stick up for her. Before they left, Frohike apologized sincerely and assured her she'd always be shown the proper respect.

Once they were alone Dana chuckled. "How did you do that?"

"Melvin's not a bad guy, but he forgets his manners sometimes. We've had a discussion or two about it in the past. He shouldn't give you any more trouble."

"Not that I can't handle him... but thanks."

Jess held out her hand. "Come here."

Dana took it in hers and sat on the side of the bed. "How do you feel?"

"I'm fine." They kissed lightly, then Jess leaned back against the elevated head of her bed. "So, what's going on with the case?"

"John and some other agents are following up some leads. He said the suspect was seen wearing a 'brass rat.'"

"He went to MIT," she said with a smile. "Somehow I'm not surprised. I'm sure Russell Schiff is an alias though."

"Undoubtedly. John's going to go through the class year books and hopefully find his real name."

Jess frowned. "How?"

Dana closed her eyes a moment and nodded. "That's right, you don't know."

"Know what?"

"We've a got a picture of him."

"How?"

"Sheila Cousins' was at an open house a couple of days before she was killed. The owners of the house had a nanny cam and it recorded everyone who was there that day. According to Sheila's records Schiff was there that day. By interviewing her associates, clients and other real estate agents that were there, we've identified everyone except one man – Schiff. So hopefully we'll have his real name tomorrow."

"I need to get out of here," Jess said as she reached for and hit the nurse call button.

"What you need to do, Jess, is rest."

"I'm fine, Dana."

"No, you're not. Despite the blood you've had I know you're not fully healed – I can see it in your eyes."

The nurse entered. "What can I help you with, Agent Morgan?"

"I need to see Dr. Kelvin."

"She left for the day."

"Then get me whoever can discharge me."

"I'm afraid that's not going to happen tonight. Dr. Kelvin will be in to see you tomorrow." The nurse left.

"Damn it! I should just get dressed and leave."

"Jess, no. You almost died – only a day and a half ago. You've had major surgery. You need to rest and heal."

Jess was frustrated. "Dana, I've healed as much as I can while I'm in here. I can't heal completely because there'd be too many questions. We're getting close to this guy; I can feel it. I need to get out of here."

"Do you trust John?"

"What?"

"Do you trust John?"

"Yes."

"Do you trust me?"

Jess's expression softened. "Yes, I do."

"Then trust us to work the case."

Jess closed her eyes and took a slow, deep breath. After letting it out she opened her eyes. "I do trust you to work the case. I just–"

"You just want to finish what you started," Dana said with understanding.

"Yeah."

"It won't hurt you to spend another night here in the hospital." She gave Jess's hand a squeeze. "I saw Mom today. She said I should bring you to her house when you get out of here. She wants to look after you while you recuperate." She smiled and continued before Jess said anything. "I told her you'd probably decline the offer. But she insisted we both come to dinner, and I said yes."

Jess gave her a small smile. "I like your mom."

Dana stayed and talked with Jess until the nurse kicked her out for the night. She then went home to her apartment. She took a long, hot shower before crawling into bed. Despite the stress and emotional exhaustion of the day, she had trouble sleeping. She knew Jess was going to be okay, but until she could hold her in her arms it wouldn't feel real. Also, images of, conversations with, and observations of Mulder raced through her mind. Dana couldn't help but think she could have done something, said something, to prevent what had happened. Why didn't she see it coming?


Casper and Barker came marching into the bullpen just after 1:00. He walked up to the white board that had Schiff's picture on it. He grabbed a black marker and wrote something under the picture.

Hugh Kensey

He turned around and faced the bullpen. "We have a name to go with the face!"

Taylor came out of his office at the commotion. He looked at the name on the board. "What do we know about him?"

"Hugh Kensey was a gifted student. He graduated from MIT with PhDs in Aeronautical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering at the age of 19. He was raised in Manhattan, NY and attended Hunter College Elementary School in Manhattan, then Hunter College High School where he graduated at the age of 12."

"So the profile was spot on," someone commented.

"So far, yes." Casper turned to Taylor. "Kennedy and Jackson are in New York interviewing his family and friends. But from what I understand Kensey hasn't lived in New York for some time. He's a trust fund baby. When he turned 21 he got 5 million from a trust fund. At age 30 he received the remainder of the trust fund – 65 million. He supposedly has property in eight or nine states, including Florida, South Carolina, California, Wyoming and Texas."


Scully could hear the raised voices before she ever opened the door to Jess's hospital room. She walked in and found Jess arguing with someone – a Dr. Miller according to the man's nametag. "What the hell is going on here?" she interrupted.

"Miss Morgan is–"

"Look, just get your attending in here. And it's Doctor Morgan to you!"

The man let out a perturbed huff and left.

"Jess, what the hell was that all about?"

"That... He doesn't know a damn thing about... I refuse to deal with incompetents!"

"What's going on?"

Jess took a deep breath and calmed herself down. "I need to get out of here, Dana. Staying here is just extending my healing time at this point. There's nothing more they can do for me here. And I don't do well cooped up."

The door to the room opened and Dr. Kelvin entered. "I understand you wanted to see me."

"Yes. I want out of here, Doctor."

"You've had a major trauma and surgery. It takes time to recover."

"I know that. I also know that it's not necessary to remain hospitalized beyond a certain point. Run whatever tests you need to, to verify I'm far enough along the road to recovery to be released. Please."

Kelvin thought about it a few moments. She crossed her arms as she moved to the other side of Jess's bed. "On one condition."

"What?"

"That if, in my opinion, the tests indicate you need longer hospitalization you stop arguing and stay put until I say it's time to release you."

"Deal."

"Alright. I'll see about getting you in for an MRI. But if they're too busy, you'll just have to wait."

"Okay. Thank you."

Kelvin left.

Jess looked at Dana. "So, what brings you here this afternoon?"

"Since I couldn't make it here this morning, I wanted to come by and see you while I was out on my lunch break."

Jess smiled and reached for Dana's hand. "If I'd known I probably would have asked you to bring me something better tasting than hospital food to eat."

Dana squeezed Jess's hand and returned her smile. "Well, when you do get out of here, I'll make you a home cooked meal. Okay?"

"That sounds wonderful."


Scully returned to the hospital after she got off work. Dr. Kelvin was talking to Jess when she arrived.

"Quite frankly I didn't expect results like this. You heal remarkably fast. I've only seen a recovery like this two or three times. But, you are not completely healed and you need to remember that. I'm hesitant to release you without someone to keep an eye on you for at least a couple of days."

"Jess can come home with me," Dana offered as she moved further into the room and stood at the foot of the bed. "I'm a doctor and I can keep an eye on her."

Kelvin looked at Scully for a few moments in silence but finally relented. "Alright." She pinned Jess with a stern look. "But you are not cleared to return to field duty, Agent Morgan. Office work only." She looked at Scully again. "Keep an eye on her, especially in the office. If she pushes too hard too fast, she could end up back in here."

"I will."

Kelvin left to fill out the appropriate paperwork.

Dana sat on the side of the bed.

"Thanks, Dana. I don't really have to stay with you. I'll be fine."

She smiled. "Oh, but you do. I promised you a home cooked meal, remember?" She reached out and caressed the brunette's cheek. "And it's for my benefit as much as yours... I'll feel better with you where I can see you and know you're okay."

Jess reached up and took Dana's hand in her own. She kissed her palm and smiled. "I'm all yours."

Jess was soon checked out of the hospital. Before going home, Dana drove by headquarters and retrieved Jess's main travel bag from her office. On the way to her apartment, Jess asked her to stop at a particular drug store.

Dana pulled into a parking slot and turned to Jess. "Is this so you can buy some blood?"

"Yes."

"I thought we already discussed this."

Jess reached over and gave Dana's hand a squeeze. "We did. But it's too soon for you to give any more blood. I just need some blood and some sleep, and I'll be completely healed. Okay?"

Dana nodded.

Jess stiffly got out of the car and went inside. She returned in only a few minutes.


While Dana fixed some spaghetti and a fresh salad, Jess changed into some sweats. She drank the blood and threw the container in the trash. She then went out to the living room and stretched out on the couch. It only seemed like a couple of minutes before Dana woke her, telling her dinner was ready.

They enjoyed the simple meal. Afterward Dana encouraged Jess to lie down on the couch with her head on her lap. She absently carded her fingers through silky, dark hair as they watched some TV. They decided to turn in early.

When they slipped into bed, Dana took Jess into her arms as she laid her head on her right shoulder.

"Mmmm, this feels nice," Jess said softly.

"Yes, it does." Dana kissed her forehead.

Both women closed their eyes and drifted to sleep.

 

Chapter 41

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 what?"

"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 onto 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.

"Hey."

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."

 

Chapter 42

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..."

"What?"

"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.

"Sir."

"Director."

"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."

"What?"

"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 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.

"Morgan."

"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 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."

 

Chapter 43

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 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!

"Thanks, John."

"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 behind 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."

Jess nodded.

Dana reached in 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."

"I will."


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.

"Morgan."

"Hey, Jess, it's me."

"Hey. When you get there, the county sheriff's office is in Murphysboro, 5 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."

"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.


"Thank you."

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."

"Let's go."

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."

"Thank you."


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?"

"3:00."


Casper gave the sheriff a folder with background on the suspect, a couple 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?"

 

Chapter 44

Jess had only been asleep about an hour when her cell phone rang. She reached and snagged it from the nightstand. "Morgan."

"Jess?"

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."

"What 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."

"What?"

"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."

"Why?"

"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?"

"Oh, definitely!"

"SCUBA diving?"

"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."

"Done."

"What?"

"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."

"Night..."

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."

"Alright."


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 minutes, the first group was ready to go. Scully had been assigned to ride with Deputy Stratton.

Ashlee Stratton looked over her shoulder as 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 sigh.

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, shirt and then vest. 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, and wrote them on a list in an effort to get the whole picture.

Dark brown hair and brown eyes, 5'11", right-handed

Graduated from Hunter College High School in '78 at age 12

Attended MIT – graduated in '85 at age 19 with 2 engineering PhDs

Worked at Boeing from '85-'87 until he simply quit without notice

Nothing for the last half of '87 or all of '88

in '89 at age of 23 entered Los Angeles police academy until resigning only one week shy of completing the six-month training program (what happened?)

Fall of '91 through spring of '92 taught at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale using the name of Brian Adams

Purchased property in the area December of '91 – invoices for equipment rentals and purchases through summer of '93 indicate still in area even though no longer teaching

'96 receives balance of trust fund - 65 million. Drops off face of the earth, no sign of Hugh Kensey.

Used name Joel ?? with Andrea Nicks (Annapolis)

Used name Russell Schiff with Sheila Cousins (Boston)

Used name Thomas Weeks with Andrea Bishop (Richmond)

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.

"Morgan."

"Agent Morgan?"

"Yes?"

"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, 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)

 

Chapter 45

With one man already injured, everyone was at 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."

"Why?"

"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."

"Now?"

"Yes."

"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."

Morgan nodded.

"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 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."

"Legally, yes."

"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.

"Morgan."

"Agent Morgan, this is Agent Sabine."

"Yes?"

"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 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 some kind of batteries. 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.

"Morgan."

"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."

"What?"

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.

Part 46

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