Fandom: Criminal Minds
Characters: All main characters, Spencer Reid specific
Content/Warnings: Graphic crime scene imagery, case fic, canon related violence
Summary: When two young women are found savagely murdered in their off-campus apartments in Louisiana, it is discovered that the victims have far more in common than initially thought by the local police department. As the investigation progresses, Reid finds that he is haunted by another case that left devastating consequences for all involved, and begins to wonder about his future.
Author's Notes: This story was written for someone in the Gift Giving Extravaganza. However, I am not certain if this individual likes or dislikes the story as I have never received word back from them. I decided to incorporate my love for Arthurian Literature with my interest in Criminal Minds, and had a novel planned back in 2015 for this story. However, due to time and lack of interest, I decided that I am going to publish the first chapter here, and have the story removed as I fully intend to write a similar story for another fandom that I feel comfortable in. I have tried to work on this story since I first published the first chapter, but I didn't know what to do with it and began focusing my attention elsewhere. I may return to this story in future, but for now, I think I will leave the ending as is.
Besides, the more that I look into this story from Reid's prospective, the more that I feel the muse react in my favour.
'Through their kisses and caresses they experienced a joy and wonder the equal of which has never been known or heard of. But I shall be silent...for the rarest and most delectable pleasures are those which are hinted at, but never told.' Chrétien de Troyes
"... As a matter of fact, the most interesting thing to note about the Lancelot-Grail cycle is that the works were inspired by Chrétien de Troyes' Arthurian Romances of the late twelfth century. These works provide a very large collection of Arthurian Legend written in old French, and is divided up into five prose volumes that depicts the quest of the Holy Grail and the relationship between Lancelot and Guinevere. The most fascinating fact that I've got to point out is that in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, French writers were actually the main contributors to the Arthurian Legends as we know them today. These writers focused a lot of their work upon the Quest of the Holy Grail, the illicit love affair of Lancelot and Guinevere, and the deaths of Merlin and Arthur. Of course, Chrétien's work dealt with what has now been termed as 'Courtly Love', but if you read between the lines, there is evidence to support the fact that this writer disagreed with adulterous affairs of this kind..."
"Read between the lines?" Prentiss asked confusion evident in her voice. "What are you going on about, Reid?"
Spencer Reid stopped at the foot of the stairs as Emily turned to look at him. He saw her study him with her dark eyes, concern etched deep in the lines of her face as she noticed how dishevelled he looked. Before she had a chance to open her mouth to ask the question that filled him with dread ever since that case, he pulled out an old book from his satchel and handed it over to her.
He watched as Prentiss mouthed the words of the title, her head tilted to one side as she tried to comprehend what he meant by this action. It didn't take her very long to understand what he was trying to get at. "Sir Thomas Malory wrote in middle English, Reid. You can't blame me for getting frustrated."
"Malory was influenced by quite a few sources when it came to writing Le Morte d'Arthur. However, there is evidence to support the fact that he knew both the Lancelot-Grail cycle and the Post Vulgate cycle intimately enough to write the characters the way he did." Reid hid his amusement as Emily returned the precious book with a look of disgust on her face.
"Post Vulgate cycle?" she asked slightly disgruntled. "I know a lot about the Arthurian Legends, Reid, but I don't know what the difference is between the two cycles."
They began to climb up the stairs together to where the rest of the team was most likely waiting for them in the conference room. Reid began to explain the difference between the two cycles as Emily nodded her head to show that she understood what he was saying. He wasn't sure if she was able to fully comprehend what he was talking about, but he talked quickly nonetheless as it would prevent Prentiss from asking that question that had become the bane of his existence during the last few months.
He saw Prentiss bite her lip anxiously by the time they reached the top of the stairs, and was certain that she threw a worried glance in his direction, but she remained silent until they rounded the corner and the conference room was in sight. She came to an abrupt stop in the centre of the hallway and turned to face him, a look of fierce determination upon her face. As though she had debated with herself whether she should say something before she came to the decision that she had to.
"Are you sure you're okay, Reid?" She asked her eyes locked upon his own with such intensity that he was forced to look away. "You haven't been the same since the New York Ripper case. I am concerned about you."
"I am fine." He gritted his teeth and tried to push past her, but she remained firm in place.
"No, you're not fine," she said softly, her eyes filled with such pain that Reid almost broke down right then and there. However, he swallowed the lump that had suddenly made it difficult to breathe and shook his head. He had to remain strong and not lose control. If he did, he was no longer fit for his job. "Talk to me, Reid. You are holding something back..."
"I am fine, Emily." His voice was harsh even to his own ears, and he immediately felt guilty when he saw the hurt look flicker briefly on her face. "If something was bothering me, I would come to you about it."
Emily appeared dubious for a moment and had opened her mouth to speak before she caught sight of the expression on his face. She composed herself and slowly nodded her head. "Alright, I'll let this go for now, but I am not happy about it."
He turned to look at her in surprise. "What do you mean?"
She gave a small smile as she placed her hand upon the door knob of the conference room. "I know that there is something bothering you, Reid. Not only can I see it, but I can feel it deep within my gut. When you're ready to talk about it, know that I am here to listen."
Before he had a chance to respond, Emily had opened the door and walked into the room, taking her seat between David Rossi and Aaron Hotchner. He ignored the look that Derek Morgan gave him as he made his way to the only empty chair in the room, and took his seat at the end of the table. Across from him on the other side was Jennifer Jareau who was deeply immersed in a thick folder that was nearly hidden from view by the amount of scattered papers around it. From JJ's body language, Reid knew that the case that had caught her eye was bad. She had her brow furrowed as she studied a piece of paper that was clutched rather tightly in her hands, and her blue eyes appeared to darken as she read what was written. He noticed that she looked tense in her seat as she placed the paper down and looked down at the crime scene photos that had been placed in an untidy pile next to a stack of forms. She looked up when Hotch called her name softly, and offered a small smile that didn't quite reach her eyes when she realised that the entire team was there.
She stood to her feet, picked up a small white remote that turned the computer on and sighed as the faces of two beautiful women came into focus upon a SMART board. Reid noticed that JJ seemed to compose herself before she turned back to the team.
"Lafayette, Louisiana has a killer on their hands. Two women who both took studies at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette have been found brutally murdered in their off campus apartments." She pointed the remote at the screen and grisly crime scene imagery began to come up. "The first victim, twenty three year old Madeline Charvet, was discovered at noon hour on Monday morning by two of her classmates who were concerned when she missed an important day at school. She had been bound to her bed and gagged before being tortured and had her tongue removed." JJ stopped talking as crime scene photos flashed on the screen, showing the team the horror that the poor woman had gone through before she was killed. "The second victim is nineteen year old Audrey White. She moved to Louisiana from Massachusetts a few months back, and was found by her father who had recently returned from Afghanistan and had gone to visit his daughter before going back home."
A picture of an auburn haired young woman flashed before the screen, quickly followed by crime scene photos that forced Reid to look away for a brief moment.
"Audrey had been tortured and was found posed upon her bed." JJ took a deep breath before continuing on. "Unlike the first victim, Audrey's sexual organs had been removed and her uterus taken by the killer."
"What connects these two cases, JJ?" Rossi asked as he sifted through the folder that had been placed in front of him and studied the crime scene pictures intently. "From what I can see, the only similarity between the two is the torture. It seems to me that these two women were killed in different ways."
"I was getting to that," said JJ as she clicked the remote and two pictures came up on the screen. "Both women were taking studies in Lafayette's history program, and had expressed interest in Arthurian mythology. While it is unclear whether the two knew each other, the university was able to provide information that told local police that the victims were taking a course called 'Worlds of Arthur' before they died." She stopped here and met Reid's eyes before she turned her attention back to the screen. "At each crime scene, the victims were holding a piece of paper that had a quote written upon it. The local police are still checking records to see..."
JJ was interrupted by Reid who had grabbed the folder in front of him and quickly went through the contents until he came across the picture that the forensic document examiner had provided of the two sheets of paper. He noted the similarity in handwriting as he read the message upon the two sheets of plain pieces of paper. He squinted at the Gothic Book Hand style of writing, noting that despite the fact that it was to recreate script of the twelfth century, that whoever wrote it had made mistakes. He mouthed the words that showed up in the picture, recognising instantly where they came from.
"Chrétien de Troyes," he said softly as he reread the writing. "This is from Chrétien de Troyes..." he trailed off as he studied the letters more closely.
"What?" Morgan asked looking at Reid who was so absorbed in looking over the evidence that he didn't answer right away.
Slightly discomfited by the attention he was receiving now that he had spoken, Reid chose to read over the two quotes again. The killer had obviously used a translation of Chrétien de Troyes work, and had chosen to write in modern English versus the vernacular Old French that Chrétien wrote in. He thought he recognised the specific translation that the writer chose to use in the quotes, but he wasn't too sure if it was the right one as even the mediaeval publishers used different versions of the same story throughout the centuries. There was an odd sense of triumph that he felt course through his veins when he made that realisation. The fact that the killer used quotes from a modern rendition meant that the Unsub was not a scholar of French literature, and most likely was ignorant of the language used at that time.
He looked up startled when the thoughts that swirled around his head began to overwhelm him. It was as though he was being bombarded constantly by thousands of small voices that always seemed to whisper in his ear. He had never noticed the headaches that seemed to form whenever he allowed his mind to take over before.
Slightly dazed, Reid looked around at the blurred faces that were quickly returning back to focus. He remembered the question that Morgan had asked him and turned his attention back to the profilers that were around him.
He cleared his throat and pushed the two evidence photos into the centre of the table. "These quotes are from Chrétien de Troyes' Arthurian Romances, more specifically the stories of Erec and Enide and Cligès respectfully. They are two stories set in King Arthur's court and centre on the characters of the knights and their quests. Most of the author's work is centred on romantic idealism of the mediaeval ages, and portrays the idyllic knight of the twelfth century to the aristocratic audience within the court of the Count of Champagne's."
"That would be the courtly love aspect of his romances, right?" Prentiss asked as she studied the pictures intently.
"Actually the term courtly love doesn't appear until centuries later in the eighteen hundreds when Gaston Paris used it to describe many mediaeval works, including Chrétien de Troyes," said Reid with a look in her direction. "In Chrétien's day and age, there was a large emphasis on chivalry and nobility, where the knight went on many adventures and accepted requests from ladies of more noble birth. Originally, these works were written for the enjoyment of the nobles throughout France, and at the time that de Troyes was alive, Champagne was considered the literary centre of the country. As a matter of fact, his patrons were very high ranking members of society and supplied him with the storyline that they wanted to see in the story."
"So this Unsub is taking scenes from this writer's work and applying them to his murders?" Morgan asked confusion evident in his voice.
Reid thought a moment before responding. "Not at all. I mean, it is obvious that the Unsub has a copy of Chrétien's work, but he isn't copying scenes from the stories that the quotes are taken from. The first victim had a quote from Erec and Enide stuffed into her hand. Enide is considered a central character just like Erec is, and it is shown that he loves his wife very much. Though, the only wrong thing she does is not tell her husband that he has lost his reputation. Of course this is the plot point where Erec chooses to go on his quest and he takes his wife with him with orders for her not to talk. Enide disobeys her husband many times throughout the story, thus saving his life on those occasions..."
"The removal of the first victim's tongue," Rossi interrupted with realisation dawning upon his face. "Enide disobeyed and was always reprimanded by Erec." He paused for a moment, his face lined with thought as he tried to remember a book that he had read but forgotten over the course of time. "Whenever a tongue is removed, it is to keep somebody silent, to prevent any secrets from leaking out. However, there is none of that violence occurring to Enide..."
"Exactly," said Reid excitedly. "Enide disobeyed Erec when she thought he were in danger. However, instead of being grateful over her intervention, Erec is insulted because he feels that Enide doesn't think that he is a worthy knight."
"So the removal of the tongue could mean that our Unsub was angry with the victim," Morgan said slowly, picking up a grisly crime scene picture. "Do we know if she was alive at the time the tongue was removed?"
There was a rustle of paper as Hotch read through the autopsy report. "It says here that there was blood in her stomach. However, that doesn't prove or disprove anything as the victim was struck on the mouth prior to the tongue being removed."
"We'd be able to learn more from the Medical Examiner," said Prentiss softly as she pushed the folder that was in front of her away with a strange expression upon her face. "What about the second quote, Reid?"
He frowned as he picked up the second picture and gave it a quick glance. "It is from Cligès. This work is actually considered one of Chrétien's lesser works, but is rich with mediaeval values and customs. The most interesting thing to note about this specific poem is that scholars see it as a parody of the adulterous affair between Tristan and Iseult. Chrétien appears to criticize the work overall, but with two very different characters and settings."
Prentiss nodded her head with a strange light in her eyes. "Tristan and Iseult is considered a romantic tragedy, and was adapted by mediaeval French writers to become the newest form of Arthurian literature of the time."
"But what do these stories have to do with our victims?" Morgan said with a slight shake of his head. He studied the crime scene photos of the two victims with eyes narrowed. He looked up just as Reid sighed and placed a picture upon the table. "You said that the two women portrayed in the stories do not suffer this kind of violence. Clearly the UnSub is gaining inspiration from somewhere in these works."
Reid rubbed at his head slowly. Finally he let out a deep breath and looked back up. "I believe that whoever did these murders is taking these two works completely out of context. Enide disobeyed her husband by warning him of possible threats. Fenice is married to Cligès uncle, but falls in love with Cligès instead and has an adulterous affair..."
"That could explain the reason for why Audrey White's sexual organs were mutilated," said Hotch tiredly. He took a moment to look down at his watch and took a deep breath. "According to the police report, this UnSub works fast. Wheels up in thirty minutes."
Reid wondered how he did not notice how small the jet really was before now. It seemed that now all his colleagues were present and seated, that the aircraft had shrunk in size, and threatened to suffocate him as he clutched his satchel protectively to his chest. He glanced around at the men and women that he considered family. It was only going to be a matter of time before they would figure out what was bothering him, if they didn't already. After all, he was surrounded by the most intelligent people whose job was to study behaviour and the human mind. He felt a brief moment of panic wash over him when he thought of what his colleagues would think of him if they realised he was so weak.
He caught Morgan's eye and looked quickly away, but not before he caught sight of the familiar look of concern that he had come to hate in recent weeks. In order to make it seem like he was completely normal, Reid opened his satchel and rummaged deep inside to grab the collection of books that he had brought with him to study. As he wasn't sure which translation of Chrétien de Troyes' work was being used, he had grabbed two copies from a used bookstore that was just round the corner from his apartment. One was a battered old copy written by W. Wistar Comfort. The second copy he had picked up was a slightly used Penguin Classic that was considered a 'beginners' version for many university students.
As he set both of the books down upon the table, Reid noticed that Morgan had gotten to his feet and was headed his way. He hastily shuffled through his bag in search of pens and a notebook.
"I know that there is something bothering you, kid." Morgan slid into the seat in front of him and was studying him intently. He reddened slightly when he noticed that the intense argument that Emily and Rossi were having had suddenly quieted down despite the fact that Derek had voiced his concern gently.
He cleared his throat. "Nothing is wrong. I..."
"Just have a headache," Morgan finished sadly. He threw a quick glance in the direction of Prentiss and Rossi, who were trying to appear oblivious to the conversation across the aisle from them, before he leaned towards Reid with concern etched deep in his eyes. "I am worried about you. We all are. You haven't been the same since the New York Ripper case, and I know that the aftermath has affected you."
Reid winced at the mention of the ruthless murderer that had come to haunt him in his every waking hour. His pain must have been easy to read because Morgan leaned back in his seat and gave him a sad look. He looked away quickly and bit his lip.
"Do you want to talk about it?"
The question hit him like a ton of bricks. His eyes flashed with anger as he brought his attention back to Morgan. "I don't need to talk about anything because there is nothing wrong," he hissed through clenched teeth. He realised too late that Rossi and Prentiss had stopped their conversation and were now staring at him, and he flushed as he opened his notebook, grabbed a black pen and began to scribble some notes upon a piece of paper.
To his immense relief, Morgan decided to change the topic. "So these are the books that the quotes come from, Reid?"
He handed Derek the Penguin Classic copy and gave him what he hoped to be a grateful smile. "I am trying to figure out which translation the UnSub used as it is clear that the source is not a French copy." He watched as Morgan flipped through the pages of the book with knitted brows and pause reflectively upon a page. "Problem is that I am not so certain if the copies I have are being used as a resource by the killer."
He caught Morgan's look of surprise and sighed. "My mother introduced me to fifteenth century literature when I was a child, but she never really discussed published works that came before then. I only know about Chrétien de Troyes and his Arthurian Romances when my mother gave a lecture about Thomas Malory and his sources for his Le Morte d'Arthur." He paused slightly abashed and found he could no longer look his friend in the eye. "I was interested in taking a literature course, and found that his romances were on the reading list for the program."
Morgan appeared amused. "I take it that you read all the course material before attending school?"
"I was extremely bored," Reid admitted, receiving a hearty chuckle from his friend.
"Why is it that I am not surprised?"
Before he had a chance to respond, Hotch had gotten to his feet and moved towards them. He had been seated next to JJ since the flight had taken off, and the two had been speaking urgently to each other the entire time. For a brief moment, Reid wondered what had been discussed, but decided that it must have been case related as JJ was busily putting papers back into a folder.
Hotch took a seat beside Rossi and waited for JJ to join them before he continued on. "I take it that everybody had the opportunity to take a look at the case file once more?" His dark eyes twinkled as they settled upon Emily and David who both stared back with feigned innocence. "What have you got?"
"Both murders have evidence of overkill," said Prentiss promptly. She gave a small nod in Rossi's direction before adding. "There is a possibility that the UnSub knew the victims prior to killing them."
"This type of Unsub might have stalking tendencies." Rossi scratched at his chin as he regarded his notes. "He had to have known about the hectic schedules that these two women had, and used it to his advantage."
Morgan frowned. "This type of behaviour doesn't go unnoticed, though. Surely it would have been mentioned in the police report that the victims were concerned about stalking prior to their deaths." He nodded towards the file that lay upon the table between Prentiss and Rossi. "There is no mention of stalking tendencies in the case report."
"But it doesn't mean that it hasn't happened," Prentiss argued. "Stalkers tend to be very careful with their harassment and intimidation tactics. In most cases, they know exactly what they are doing and plan everything."
"Yes, but you get the erratic stalker just as much." Rossi pointed out. "Look at what happened during the Vivienne Kirkland case. Darren Smith was a predatory stalker that brutally attacked and murdered Kirkland."
"Smith planned the assault and murder upon Kirkland," Prentiss said heatedly.
"But there is evidence that Smith was erratic in the days leading up to Kirkland's murder." Reid put in as he set his pen aside and fixed his gaze upon Prentiss.
He watched her closely as her mouth drew into a tight line and quickly added. "We don't know that there is any stalking involved right now, but anybody close to these victims would have known their time schedules too."
"That leaves a wide window of classmates, personal friends and faculty members," said Rossi with a thoughtful expression upon his face. Reid noticed that he gave Prentiss a small nod before consulting his notes once again. "It would make sense as all three groups would have known each woman intimately enough to realise when she left for class and when she would arrive home."
"It says here that both women held part time jobs, though." Prentiss snuck a look towards the folder and pulled out a sheet of paper. "I don't even think that close friends would have been able to know what time the victims would leave and return from work."
"It isn't uncommon for college and university students to have overlapping friends," JJ said softly leaning forward in her seat slightly so that she could be part of the group. "They did take the same course at school, didn't they?"
Prentiss rubbed at her temples in frustration. "According to Garcia it was a class that received a lot of interest. They had to divide the students into two groups so that there were enough seats to sit in. She is running a check now to see if they were in the same class together, but so far she has come up empty."
Reid shook his head. "I don't think that they were in the same class together. Madeline Charvet was a graduate student, whereas Audrey White was taking undergraduate studies. If the classes were divided into two parts, it would only make sense that it was divided by the level of education."
"What difference would that make?" Morgan asked. "The course would still be taught the same regardless of who was taking it."
"Not necessarily," said Reid with a small shrug. "Undergraduates are just starting out in their majors. Professors would teach according to student needs and level of knowledge. There is a great possibility that the professor in question would have the same modules for each part, but the assignments and grading expectations would be completely different depending upon who you are teaching."
He was uncomfortably aware that everybody was staring at him, and he stopped speaking.
There was an awkward silence that seemed to last for an eternity before Hotch decided to focus on the method of killing with each victim.
"The way this Unsub tortures his victims is the same with a few exceptions," said Hotch carefully as he mulled over the crime scene photos. "That implies rage and possible personal ties between killer and victim."
"You don't have to know somebody in order to do this much damage to them." Rossi shook his head and grabbed for his pen to jot down a note. "Look at what Jack the Ripper did to his victims. There is no evidence to suggest that he knew any of his victims when he decided to kill them. This Unsub has the same amount of rage towards the two women he killed that Jack the Ripper showed towards the five victims attributed to him."
"But that doesn't mean that this killer didn't know his victims," said Prentiss softly. "By all means, the murders seem rather personal. The removal of Charvet's tongue and the mutilation of White's genital organs do not fit in with a random attack. These seem planned to me, and are orchestrated by someone who believes that these women wronged him in some way."
"There is evidence of this being a personal attack," agreed Rossi with his eyes intently upon Prentiss. "However, there is also a possibility that these are impersonal murders and that the victims are a stand in for somebody else that is the subject of the killer's rage."
"That is personal," argued Prentiss turning her full attention to Rossi. "If these women are considered replacements of the Unsub's rage, then that is still a personal murder."
"But not to the killer it's not. Killing somebody else that appears like the object that is the cause of your rage is impersonal..."
"How does that make sense, Rossi? To the killer he is killing the person that has angered him. That fact takes it from an impersonal murder to a very personal killing."
Reid decided that it was about time to point something out. "Both victims are completely different in appearance. Madeline Charvet was a blonde with green eyes and petite in stature. Audrey White was a brunette who had blue eyes and was tall. It doesn't match the profile of a killer who is getting back at somebody by killing them over and over again."
"Typically the UnSubs that lash out like that choose their victims at random," said Morgan simply. He rubbed at his head with one hand and sighed before he picked up a crime scene photo that showed the first victim. He held it up for everybody to see. "And this screams personal."
There was silence as everybody digested what Derek had said. Hotch turned suddenly to Reid.
"What do you make of the two quotes?"
He released a puff of air as he thought his words through carefully. "From preliminary research, I can tell you that the first quote is said by Erec to Enide."
"Woe to you, who decided to disobey my orders and do what I forbade you to. And yet I knew very well that you had little esteem for me. Your kindness has been wasted, for I am in no way grateful to you; in fact, you may be certain that I hate you for it." Prentiss narrowed her eyes at the passage before she looked back up. "Erec sounds real charming."
Reid was surprised by her contempt, and briefly wondered about it. Finally he said softly: "You've got to remember that this is twelfth century literature. However, this little snippet of the quote is taken completely out of context by whoever killed these women."
Her eyes softened as she regarded him. "I know, Reid. It's just whoever did this viewed these women as objects to be used and destroyed. I know that Chrétien de Troyes was a writer who paid attention to his female characters just as much as he did the main males."
"What about the second quote?" Morgan asked him before he had a chance to respond to Emily. "You said it was from Cligès."
He didn't bother to look down at the picture. He had remembered the passage word for word and repeated it out loud to the others. "If I love you and you love me, you will never be called Tristan nor I Iseut, which would suggest our love was not honourable." He paused for a brief moment, his brow furrowed as he thought about the quote. "It is said by Fenice to Cligès the night before she makes plans to leave her husband."
"So we've got one quote that is said by a knight, and another that is said by a lady." Morgan appeared confused but quickly covered it up. "It would make more sense for this guy to use quotes from the male characters. Why did he change to a woman's perspective for the second murder?"
Spencer shrugged his shoulders and studied his fingertips for a few seconds. He had to admit that he was just as confused by the choice of passage, but thought that he understood why the UnSub had chosen it in the first place. He picked up one of the books that were in front of him and opened it to the story of Cligès.
"The quotation in question is a piece from Fenice's devotion of love to Cligès. She feels that as she is married to the titular character's uncle, that to love Cligès openly would mean that she is committing a great sin." He flipped to the page in question and set the book back on the table. He placed his forefinger upon the passage and read the entire thing to himself. "She understands that as long as she is the wife of Alis, that she could never truly love Cligès. It is during the night that she comes up with a plan so that she could escape Alis so that she could be with the man she truly does love."
"So, this Unsub feels jilted by a woman?" Prentiss asked slowly as she comprehended what he had just said. "That would explain the rage that he shows in these murders."
"There's anger all right," said Morgan with a nod towards the crime scene photos. "In his mind, these two women did something that infuriated him." He hesitated for a moment as he picked up a picture of Audrey White when she had been alive. She was smiling in pride as she held her high school diploma, her eyes as bright as the future that lay before her. "He's not going to stop killing until we stop him."
Reid saw Rossi and Prentiss give each other significant looks, and heard JJ take a deep breath before releasing it. Hotch sat in his seat looking grim but oddly satisfied, as though he knew all along what Morgan was going to say.
Hotch finally spoke up after a few minutes silence. "Then we must work quickly to prevent this killer from striking again."