|The Intricacies of Love
Author: ilovetvalot PM
This story follows the oneshot "The Coward". Hotch/Emily. Emily's thoughts and feelings as she considers Hotch.Rated: Fiction T - English - Angst/Hurt/Comfort - A. Hotchner/Hotch & E. Prentiss - Words: 919 - Reviews: 8 - Favs: 10 - Published: 10-19-09 - Status: Complete - id: 5453546
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N - This is the second oneshot in a three oneshot series regarding Hotch/Emily. This is designed to be read after "The Coward". Part Three ("How to Save a Drowning Man") will be posted Tuesday. Thank you.
The Intricacies of Love
Pulling herself out of the pool's warm water, Emily Prentiss watched his back recede into the shadows and sighed. She'd known he was watching her. She always knew when he was watching her. She couldn't explain the mechanics of it. She only knew that tingling in her spine was only created when his eyes were on her.
Blotting herself with the towel, she distantly heard the opening of a faraway door and knew he'd retreated back into his room. Like a turtle, he'd sunk back into his self-imposed shell. How much longer could she stand to pretend she felt nothing? She'd seen those longing glances. She knew all about the uncertainty. She felt it, too.
But putting on the indifferent mask was growing harder daily. Aaron Hotchner was, without doubt, the most elusive man she'd ever met. Which, unfortunately for her, only made him more attractive. By turns he could be warm and giving, then alternately harsh and demanding. Often with the inhalation of a single breath. He was intriguing. He was beguiling. He was also forbidden.
Forbidden though he may be, she couldn't deny that she was drawn to him in a way that defied explanation. Truthfully, it had been that way since the moment she'd stepped into his office to introduce herself. Again. She'd met him briefly years before when he'd worked for her mother. But, he didn't remember that. At least, he'd never mentioned it. She'd not looked twice at him then; he'd been wearing a wedding ring. He'd still been wearing it years later when she'd appeared in his office, but that time she hadn't been able to deny to herself that spark she'd felt in her stomach as she'd shaken his hand.
That had been three years ago. For three years, she'd fallen deeper and deeper under the spell of those dark eyes. Some days, she wistfully wondered if those eyes had some kind of mystical powers, allowing him to captivate his audience.
It was folly, having these feelings. The realist in her knew it. But that hidden part of her, the romantic, wished for things that should never be verbalized. She wished for long lazy kisses and the comfort of his strong arms around her. She wished for the impossible. Or, she had thought so, until fairly recently.
Lately, he watched her more. He'd even begun to open up. Just a little. She told herself not to get excited about it. He was in a stressful situation. If he didn't open up to someone, he'd have imploded by now. After several quiet conversations, however, she actually felt like she could call him a friend. But, like everyone she'd ever cared about in her life, Hotch only allowed her to reach so far. Then, like a cool blast of air, he'd freeze. And no amount of gentle coaxing could warm him.
Sighing as she dropped the towel back to the deck chair, she ran her fingers through her damp hair. She'd come here to try to forget about him, for just a little while. Smiling ruefully to herself, she wondered why she'd bothered. He hadn't left her thoughts for more than a scant moment since Foyet had almost taken him from her. And she doubted that would change anytime soon. As long as their unsub was out there, Hotch remained in danger. And as her mother had reminded her, so did anyone that cared about him.
Foyet didn't scare her though. He was a monster like all the others they hunted. Just…wilier. And smarter. He'd known exactly how to cripple Hotch. Exactly what weakness to aim for. And that made her mad enough to kill without mercy. Now THAT thought scared her. Almost as much as when she'd finally found him in that room at St. Sebastian's Hospital, hooked up to all those machines. Almost, but not quite.
But without doubt, the most fearful she'd been was when he'd opened his eyes and made the realization about Jack. Then, for the first time, she'd seen what shattered desolation truly looked like. It had been beyond painful to watch. It continued to be painful to watch. Because that look had never left his eyes. Not since that moment. Oh sometimes you only saw the embers of banked pain shining in his eyes. But, it was always there. Deep inside.
If his pain and rage had only been given an outlet. But the controlled man she knew, he'd never allow himself that moment of weakness to rage against what fate had tossed his way. She'd tried to gently nudge him. Dave had tried to downright bully him. Morgan had tried to enrage him. Penelope had tried sweetness. JJ had tried tactful urging. And Reid had quoted statistics on PTSD. Nothing had worked. She hadn't really expected it to. Because he was Hotch and SSA Aaron Hotchner did not lose his control. Ever.
Emily Prentiss was a self-admitted fool. She'd fallen into the cliché. She was in love with the boss.