|The Fine Art of Love and War
Author: ilovetvalot PM
Sequel to "Battle Lines". Their battle of wills continues as Rossi makes a sacrifice guaranteed to knock JJ for a loop. Multi-chapter.Rated: Fiction T - English - Humor - D. Rossi & Jennifer J./JJ - Chapters: 41 - Words: 58,256 - Reviews: 199 - Favs: 35 - Follows: 66 - Updated: 05-13-13 - Published: 09-01-10 - id: 6289571
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
DON'T FORGET TO CAST YOUR VOTE FOR THE CRIMINAL MINDS PROFILER'S CHOICE AWARDS.
The Fine Art of Love and War
Staring at the understated grey lettering on the black window of the brick-fronted building, JJ felt her breath catch in her chest. Whipping her head around, she swallowed hard as she demanded, "David Rossi, how in the world did you arrange this? It's impossible!"
Shrugging as he tugged at her hand to pull her out of the pathway of a party of four moving toward the door of the restaurant, he leaned forward and whispered in her ear, "Nothing's impossible when you know the right people, Jen."
Wrinkling her nose as she sniffed, JJ had to admit that he had indeed surprised her this time. While she thought she had been ready for anything, she had wondered exactly what he had up his proverbial sleeve. And when her date for the evening had insisted on being more secretive than he normally was, she had begun to doubt her decision to let him make all of the choices for the weekend. No amount of wheedling during their hour-long trip had revealed a single detail, and it wasn't until just a moment ago that she finally realized his intentions.
"But, Dave," she protested, shaking her head wildly as she motioned toward the door, "It takes at least six months to get reservations at Magnifique. I know! Penelope tried to get them for my birthday last month!" Her words trailed off as her surprised eyes suddenly narrowed into a glare. "Wait just a minute, buster. I think someone's been selling state secrets when I've not been paying attention!"
"Penelope was a very helpful source of information and all I had to do was promise to show you a good time," Dave replied calmly as he grinned. "She didn't even demand a future favor in return. I think she's warming to me," he whispered against her ear, guiding her through the throng of people to the maître d'. "Two for eight o'clock under the name Rossi," he informed the tuxedo-clad man.
"Ah, yes." The man smiled easily, locating the name in his leather bound book. "Right this way," he murmured, collecting two menus and guiding the couple through the busy restaurant.
Following the tall man through the maze of tables, JJ wondered if she had fallen into the rabbit hole as he led them to a secluded booth in the back corner away from the foot traffic of the patrons. "What'd you have to do to get this table?" She smiled over her shoulder, lifting one eyebrow at the man trailing behind her.
"Trade secrets," Dave whispered dramatically, pressing a finger to his lips.
"Uh huh. " JJ chuckled as the maître d' stepped aside so that she could slide into the booth. Instead of sitting across from her, Dave nudged her hip and sat down beside her, his thigh pressing against hers underneath the table. Hiding her smile by dropping her head to the menu, she waited quietly while Dave ordered a bottle of wine and an appetizer.
Turning his head toward his date, Dave grinned. "So, are you suitably impressed so far, JJ?" he asked with a wink. "Penelope mentioned how much you enjoyed French cuisine."
"I am," she agreed. "But I don't think exploiting my friend's knowledge about me was part of the deal we had."
"I don't recall you placing any parameters on how I came by my information," Dave countered unapologetically. "Believe me, I was listening."
"I'll bet you were," JJ replied. "You're good at finding loopholes to work around things you see as impediments. You've been working around me and my objections for close to two weeks now," she accused lightly.
"You've definitely proven to be a worthy challenge. Turning on the charm just doesn't work with you." He winked, pausing when the waiter appeared to pour their wine.
Taking a sip of the obscenely expensive wine he'd ordered, JJ stared at him over the rim of her glass. "All right, out with it. What else do you have planned for this weekend? Do I actually get to go back and sleep in my comfortable bed tonight?"
"I will guarantee you a comfortable bed for tonight. I'd say after this last case, we both need one," he replied with an easy smile. "It won't, however, be yours."
"So, you're kidnapping me again?" JJ queried lightly as she tilted her head.
"To a wonderful little bed and breakfast in Loudoun County," Dave informed her. "Separate, but adjoining rooms," he added quickly before a protest could form on her lips. "I'm still determined to be a perfect gentleman. For now."
She knew she was in trouble when the words, 'for now', sent a little shiver of excitement shimmying down her spine. Her tongue touched her upper lip as she considered him for a few moments. "Well, you're pulling out all the stops again, aren't you?"
"Am I making it difficult for you to remember why you were fighting me yet?" Dave asked silkily, sliding an arm over the booth.
"It's getting harder to remember," JJ replied narrowly. "I wouldn't gloat just yet, Rossi," she added when his smirk grew. "I can barely remember my own name after this week. You're lucky I didn't renege on this little jaunt you had planned."
"Ahhhh," Dave chided, "but reneging forfeits the game on your part. Then, it's open season. So, by all means, if you'd like to cancel…"
"You're impossible," JJ accused with a laugh. "You, of all people, should be exhausted. Being held hostage for four hours does very odd things to your disposition." She shook her head.
"I think I did very well," Dave countered as he shrugged. "I didn't get shot," he remarked carelessly.
"You can stop joking about that any time now," she muttered tightly, gripping her wineglass. "If you hadn't finally agreed to wear that vest under your shirt, you'd be taking a dirt nap right now."
"Well, you were making a fairly insistent argument in its favor even though you sounded remarkably like a bitter fishwife while making it," he chuckled. In truth, her vehemence had touched him deeply. She'd discarded his need for authenticity as juvenile and declared in no uncertain terms that he'd go in undercover without a vest over her cold, dead body.
That chilling image alone had made him reach for the irritating garment she'd held in her hand. Looking at her now, he could see the memory still had the power to shake her. Reaching for her hand on the table, he tugged her closer. "Hey, everything turned out okay, didn't it? We're here, aren't we?"
SPECIAL SIDE NOTE – Sarah O'Rourke (the professional pen name that ilovetvalot and tonnie2001969 use) has released a NEW book on amazon. Com – Please swing by and check out "The Devil's Snare". Please check out our other books as well. They are "Inescapable Eye of the Storm" and "The Estate" And please feel free to friend Sarah O'Rourke on Facebook!