An Untimely Frost
The local officers and detectives were staring numbly at them. She could see the pain and sympathy already forming in their eyes- these were people who knew about devastating phone calls all too well- but right now they were also the last people she wanted Spence to have to be around as he broke down. Seeing Hotch approaching out of the corner of her eye, she hauled Reid bodily to his feet and pushed him down the first hallway she could see with the promise of a glowing exit sign. He almost collapsed at one point, but she held firm, maneuvering him with a skill that belied the fact he was a head taller than her and was quickly becoming dead weight against her shoulder.
She pushed them through the heavy metal door, Hotch catching it behind her so it closed quietly, and staggered a bit more with him, down a flight of stairs to a cool, dark landing next to another blank slab of a doorway.
There, at last, she slid to the ground with him, and let him collapse completely against her chest. He was muttering, wildly, chest heaving as tears streaked his cheeks. They called- they said. I can't. She- she-". I'm so sorry. She felt his fingernails scraping her back through the fabric of her blouse as he clung to her, but didn't flinch or react at all, because he was keening now, horrible noises that pushed a frightened sob from her own mouth as though a hand had physically torn it from her throat.
There was nothing she could say to make this better, nothing she could do to help him beyond sitting on a cold metal staircase holding him like she would hold her children. Losing Maeve had been a stripping away of the dreams he'd finally let himself have, of a future he had already planned just like she had imagined a future with a baby who was never born. But his mother- his mother had been the biggest part of his life for much of it, and the only thing he had held on to for many years. This was worse than Maeve. She knew it, though she couldn't get her head around it.
Couldn't imagine how Reid was going to survive this. The notion that he wouldn't, couldn't, was like a dull horror whispering in the furthest corners of her mind. She couldn't think about that right now. Right now her only option was to do everything in her power for her little brother.
An Untimely Frost (Lilly Long #1) | Everything Books | Mystery books, Crime books, Fiction books
She looked up at the sound of a knock on the door they were now standing near, and frowned at it. It only opened to the parking garage. She gave Reid one more tight hug and lowered him so that he was sitting alone before going to answer it. Hotch was on the other side, his eyes dark with shared grief as he looked past her at his youngest agent on the ground.
You can take him there. The rest of us will come around when we can. Take care of him, JJ. She tried to smile as Hotch leaned over and held her hand, but the gesture was beyond her ability. He dropped the hand and his own gaze at the same time and strode away. She knelt near Reid, put her hand on his back. He had gone silent now, and when he turned to her, the look in his eyes threatened to destroy her.
An Untimely Frost: Lilly Long Mysteries
He was so far gone, looked empty and lost and like a child. A child who just wanted his mother. We're going to get out of here and rest. He didn't object. Not as she stood up and he rose with her, own his own, unsteady legs. Not as she pulled him back close to her and steered him to where the SUV waited. Not as she opened the passenger door, deposited him on the seat, buckled him in, and closed the door again. Not as she got in him next to him, started the engine, and drove off. He didn't say a word. The journey was silent- painfully so- and by the time they arrived at their destination, the realization that he had dozed off, his mind presumably too overwhelmed to deal with what was being thrown at it, came as a relief.
She hated to wake him up, but had little choice. They made it to his room without encountering anyone. She fished out his wallet and then his key card, and let them both into his room, knowing she would be spending the rest of the day and night there herself. The room was already packed, ready for a last minute departure, and the bed was neatly made when she dropped him into it. It was the first thing he'd said since the stairwell, and she frowned at the words.
She sobbed again at that before she could get a hand over her mouth to smother the sound. Of course. He didn't want to see his mother- not alive and happy, the way he'd left her, not knowing he would never see her again. And certainly not as she was now. Her shoulders were shaking by then, tears spilling down her own face. Return Policies Return for refund within: 30 days Return for replacement within: 30 days This item is covered by Newegg.
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