A/N: So I wanted to finish this post-ep before Wednesday's episode and the Thanksgiving Holiday. Please Read & Review!
"What do you mean?" she asked carefully, her heart beating a little faster at his serious tone.
"I mean that I love you. I love Henry. We're splitting time between two houses, babe, but, we're always together," he began slowly.
"You don't want to stay here?" JJ asked through a tight throat.
"I want to be wherever you and the baby are, sweetheart. That's my point. What if we just picked one of our homes? I'm tired of running back and forth. We've been together a while now. Known each other longer than that. We're going to last, honey," he vowed, cradling her closer.
"You can't be sure," JJ whispered nervously. "You could change your mind tomorrow."
Rolling so that he hovered just above her, Dave stared down at her, his expression somber. "You can't honestly believe that, Jennifer. Not after everything. I'm not letting you or that baby go. I'm not him…I'm not going to walk away from the best thing that ever happened to me. I'm old and wise enough to know what I've found. I know you won't say yes to anything more than I'm asking right now and I'm not going to push you. But, this step…living together…hell, honey, we're doing it already."
Biting her lip, JJ cocked her head as she looked up at him. "Where? Where would you want us to live?"
"Wherever you want, babe?" he readily replied. "Here…the cabin…Cara, I'll buy or build you something new if that's what you want. I just want us all together under one roof for good."
"The cabin is bigger than my place," JJ said cautiously.
"It is," Dave agreed impartially, unwilling to push her.
"But if you've…I mean…I don't know if…," JJ floundered for words.
"What, Jennifer? What is it?" Dave asked, watching forehead crinkle as her discomfort grew.
"I don't want to live somewhere that you've shared with another woman," she finally blurted as her face reddened with embarrassment.
"There's never been another woman in my cabin other than you, Jennifer. Not that way, Bella," Dave replied truthfully, running his thumb down her jaw line. "And there won't be. Not ever again."
Swallowing, JJ hoarsely asked, "Really?"
"Really," Dave whispered, dropping a gentle kiss against her quivering lips.
"Henry would have room to play," JJ whispered.
"He would," Dave nodded. "We could build him a little fort back behind the house when he gets older. And there'd be plenty of room if we ever decided to add to our intrepid little group," he said cautiously.
"Add to it?" JJ asked breathlessly.
"I said I wanted you both forever, Jennifer. Make no mistake about what I'm working you toward, babe. I'll do it slowly. I'll move at your pace. But, you know what I'll eventually want."
"I'm not ready," JJ said quickly, drawing in a deep breath. "I love you, but I'm not ready."
"I know that," Dave conceded, with a small nod, kissing the corner of her mouth as he dipped his head. "But, eventually, you will be. And I'll be waiting. In the meantime, it doesn't mean I can't think ahead to the future. Little Creek would be a good place to raise Henry and any others that might come along at a time of YOUR choosing."
"You're serious. I mean, I knew you were…but this seems so -," JJ began, her fingers tightening on his arms.
"Final? Irrevocable? Do those words work? Because that's exactly what I intend, JJ," Dave warned, his eyes darkening as they stared into hers. "I'm not going to let you slip away. Not after being teased with heaven, babe."
"I've never teased you," JJ retorted. "You know that I want to be with you. And you know why I'm scared, too."
"Why do you think I don't just ask you to marry me? I KNOW you need to ease into this…and this is the best first step I could think of," Dave argued softly. "How much of a change would it really be, sweetheart? We're already living together…we're just alternating houses."
He had a point. Since they'd slept together in Kansas City almost three months ago, they hadn't slept apart, whether at his cabin, in her condo, or whatever hotel room in whichever city they happened to be in, David Rossi insisted that when he laid head to pillow, she be in his arms. She still demanded that he go back to his own hotel room before dawn on the road, but beyond that, their routine was the same.
Narrowing her eyes on the dark man above her, JJ demanded, "We'd have to redo the kitchen. I can't stand those ugly appliances you have."
"Done," he nodded. He'd have a state of the art kitchen installed within days. Anything she wanted.
"And I want to make the master suite more girl friendly. Softer colors…window treatments," she continued, draping her arms around his shoulders.
"Whatever you want, babe. You want pink walls and flowers? I'll live with it," he agreed, smiling down at her as he saw victory hovering just out of his grasp.
"Nothing so over the top," JJ shrugged. "But maybe a soft blue or green," she suggested.
"Like I said, you name it and it's yours," Dave nodded.
"I'd want Henry's room close to us," JJ demanded.
"We'll move my study to the other end of the house and make his nursery the room next to ours. I'll even knock down a wall if you want a joining door," Dave offered readily. "By the time we have another baby, Henry will be old enough to choose one of the other bedrooms for himself," Dave reasoned.
Her heart fluttered again at the thought of another baby…one with this unbelievable man. And she knew, in that moment, he wasn't leaving. Not today, not tomorrow and not ten years from now. He wanted them. In the forever kind of way. "Okay, Rossi. It looks like you've finagled yourself a readymade family. Hope you're ready for us," JJ smiled.
"I ought to be," he grumbled, kissing her neck as he felt relief sweep through his body, "I've waited all my life for you."
Despite her reluctance to meld their lives, JJ couldn't deny the open honesty he displayed in his words and deeds. She had to trust him. She had to believe in what they'd all found together. Because, at the end of the day, it was this man's arms she wanted surrounding her. So, she'd accept what he offered…and hope for a forever full of tomorrows with him.