Author: FotoBridget2 PM
Romantic Suspense with H/P. When Hotch is ran off the road and attacked two blocks from a certain teammate's condo, they're forced to go on the run....but they can't run from the feelings they instill in each other. SUSPENSE. ADVENTURE. DRAMA. ROMANCE.Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance/Suspense - A. Hotchner/Hotch & E. Prentiss - Chapters: 15 - Words: 19,659 - Reviews: 131 - Favs: 61 - Follows: 103 - Updated: 11-22-09 - Published: 12-04-08 - id: 4695283
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Collateral Damage 15
Three a.m. was the worst time of the night. Hotch knew it, it had been proven time and time again that three a.m. was when the body was at the weakest. That's when his resolve was weakest, too.
She lay beside him sound asleep on ratty pillow and under a stained duvet. His mind replayed the words she'd thrown at him before they'd gone to bed. "I can't do this, Hotch. It's not me, and I'm pretty certain it's not you, either. We both know how adrenaline can alter someone's perception of things. I'm not going to let that happen to me. Besides, what are the long-term ramifications?"
She was right. In a way. If he'd viewed it as a temporary thing. But what he hadn't told her was…that it wasn't.
He'd had plenty of time to think through exactly what the long-term ramifications were and he could handle them. He'd gone over and over it in part of his mind as they'd pulled off the interstate around noon and went over what they knew about O'Connor.
It would take some doing, some planning. Maybe even some threats with Strauss. But he'd seen other agents manage it successfully. Albeit none in the BAU, but the BAU was relatively smaller compared with other divisions. And the BAU had historically been male so it hadn't ever been a real issue. But they could work around the hurdles. If they wanted to. If she wanted to.
But instead of telling her that, he'd taken the coward's way out. Saying "I understand. You're probably right. I apologize." When all he'd wanted to do was take the duffle bag she'd held between them like a shield and toss it into the chair and pull her closer. To slip the shirt over her head, to lower those jeans until they were skin on skin. To show her that he didn't care about the BAU, that all he wanted was her.
It had taken her an inordinate amount of time to fall asleep. Her body language had told him she was nervous, aware of him the way she hadn't been since the first night they'd slept in the same bed. So he'd turned over and pretended to fall asleep so that she could.
Now she lay cuddled against him like she had every night since they'd started this…whatever it was. He ghosted one hand over the arm she'd thrown over his chest. She hmmmed, a sound that tightened his gut. He dropped a kiss on her hair before he even thought, the gesture meant to sooth and comfort. One he'd done to Hailey a million times.
But this wasn't Hailey, this was Emily. A world of difference, and he knew it.
Emily fought the urge to open her eyes, fought the urge to tighten her arm when she felt the calloused fingers running over her skin. She couldn't resist making a sigh and her heart jumped when she felt him kiss her forehead.
It was such a comforting gesture. A normal one for a couple. She knew that, had studied every type of human relationship in her years at school. Those studies had been reinforced in her career as a profiler. It told her so much about where he was mentally. And that scared her.
She'd never cuddled with a man like him in her entire life. She should have realized earlier, Hotch didn't do anything without totally thinking it through. Ever. The man gave self-analysis as his middle name.
He would not have kissed her without deliberate intent. He wouldn't have done it unless he'd analyzed it to hell and back. And then done it again.
He'd meant it when he'd kissed her. And that scared the hell out of her.
"Would someone care to explain what this is about?" The angry blond had every right to be angry. She'd been woken at two a.m. by a man she'd worked with once, only to be told that the Irish Mafia was gunning for her and two men she considered if not close friends, friendly acquaintances. If Ceci Hillenbrand were any other kind of woman she'd have beamed the man standing beside her in the elegantly decorated home of Ambassador Elizabeth Prentiss with whatever came to hand and gone back to sleep. If she'd not seen the news of Gloria Trainers death on the TV before she'd gone to bed she would have. "Agent Morgan?"
The good looking black man was exhausted; she could see that in his eyes. The other members of this party were exhausted and worried. Ceci had read enough witnesses in her career to see that the concern was genuine.
She recognized Hotchner's ex-wife; the other blond set holding a sleeping toddler who looked enough like his father that it had to be Hotchner's son. The rest—with the exception of the ambassador—had to be Hotchner's team, plus a few extras.
It wasn't Morgan who answered, but Agent Rossi. He was the apparent host of this little shindig. "Phillip Joel O'Connor is on the loose and has already killed once. Agent Hotchner was attacked near our colleague's home five days ago. We know he's safe for now, but Gloria Trainers is dead."
"I saw that on the news, this evening. I understand there's been no leads?"
A tall brunette spoke, her body language saying she wasn't fully comfortable with the rest of the crowd. Ceci didn't think she'd been introduced. "My boss at the New York crime lab has pulled the case. So far it's stalled."
The woman threw a look at Rossi. "Until now. However, I can't get to Mac to give him the information he needs."
"Detective, I believe we've explained that." Rossi's words held irritation that no one missed. "Once we get our ducks in a row, I promise you can make that call. If I may continue…Heath Corriden has been missing for four days. We're afraid they'll be pulling his body out of the Hudson next. Leaving only…"
"Me and Hotchner alive." Ceci smacked her brandy glass down on the coffee table, causing the toddler to jerk in his sleep. Everyone paused until he quieted. "Great. Just great. So what do we do now?"
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