"What if no one wants me?" Reid asked again. He'd asked the question ten thousand times over the last five days, and it was getting exhausting. She was about to ask him if she looked fat just to get even. She hated trick questions.
"Reid, honey, someone is going to want you," Penelope said patiently. He was adorable even if he was annoying. Like a woman on a three day diet, Reid had spent the last week working out in the gym with Morgan. Of course it hadn't done him a lick of good, but his heart was in it. Penelope was turning around to pick up her phone when she noticed her in the bullpen. She growled involuntarily, eliciting a grin from Reid.
He watched Penelope as she spied on the goings-on outside of her office. Marissa Smithsonian, a fellow agent, walked up behind Derek, and then leaned down to whisper something in his ear. Derek nearly jumped out of his skin.
"Stupid bitch," Penelope muttered. The woman just had to have legs up to her neck, a perfect complexion, and breasts that practically pointed to the ceiling.
"Garcia, why don't you just ask him out?" Reid asked in amusement.
"Who?" she asked distractedly.
Her gaze flew to his face. "Why would I do that?" The pitch of her voice was elevated.
Reid cleared his throat. "Well, so these bouts of jealousy would be justified for one thing."
Penelope's eyes narrowed. "I am not jealous," she lied.
Reid put his hands in his pockets and nodded. "OK," he said, unconvinced.
Penelope gave him a dirty look. "Hmmm," she said underhandedly. "I hope no one wants you tonight!"
Reid's jaw dropped at the prospect of being humiliated. "Take it back, Garcia!" he begged.
"I will not," she said, remaining firm.
"Garcia—" Reid said again. But it was too late. Like a hurricane, she'd already collected her things and exited her office. Reid watched her make her way out of the BAU. She was glaring daggers at Marissa the entire time. He grinned. Tonight was certainly going to be interesting.
Penelope checked her list again, counting off the items on her hand. She'd gone to get waxed after work—that had been quite an adventure—she'd shaved her legs, her toenails were painted hot pink, her make up was done, her hair was up in a sophisticated style that made her look alluring (she grinned at the thought), and she had her new strapless bra on. Sure, it had cost a fortune, but sometimes it was expensive to be sexy. Penelope turned sideways in the mirror and put her hands underneath her breasts, pushing them up a bit. She lifted an eyebrow at the picture. This bra had been worth every cent.
She made her way out of the bathroom and down the hallway to her bedroom, and then slipped the little black dress she'd bought over her head. It had a V neck and the straps tied at the nape of her neck, just long enough to dangle a tad. There was a little bit of skin showing, but the back of her dress started just above her bra line. It fell to just above her knees, loose and flowy, and the black strappy sandals she'd bought were going to set it off perfectly. After fixing her dress just right, she sat down on her bed and put some vanilla scented lotion on her legs and arms, then reached for the sandals. They'd cost more than double the what she'd paid for the bra, but it wasn't every night a girl got to attend a function like this one. After what she'd coughed up for the ticket, she was going to make it worth it. And who knew, maybe even she'd get lucky tonight.
"I'm coming, I'm coming," Penelope muttered as she shot down the stairs as fast as her shoes would allow. She grabbed her coat and headed out her front door, making her way to Prentiss' car. "Impatient much?" she asked as Emily took off before she'd even gotten her door closed.
Emily winced. "I'm sorry. The ambassador called and I hadn't talked to her in over two months. She had plenty to say, and I felt guilty just hanging up on her. Now we're gonna be late."
"So what?" Penelope asked. "Were you planning on bringing company home?"
Prentiss laughed. "No. But Reid is one of the first ones out and I don't wanna miss the look on his face."
Penelope joined in her friends' laughter. "It is gonna be good," she agreed.
The girls checked their coats, and then made their way to the bar. Emily ordered a glass of wine, and Penelope followed suit, then they made their way to the stage. And just in the nick of time. Hotch was standing center stage—announcing the next victim. "His name is Spencer Reid, he's been with the F.B.I. now for six years, and ladies, if you think size doesn't matter, you should see the size of this man's…brain!" Hotch finished.
The catcalling began as soon as Reid walked out from behind the curtain, and the fact that this was painful for him was apparent. His face was beet red and Penelope saw Derek's hand shoot out from behind the curtain to give him a solid shove forward. Reid continued down the makeshift runway, barely making eye contact with the crowd.
"Oh! Poor Reid," Prentiss said with a laugh. "It hurts just to watch him."
"Hey," they heard a friendly voice say.
"Oh, hey, Haley," Penelope said. "Look at your husband up there all handsome in his tux!" she teased.
Haley made a purring sound in her throat. "That's my man," she said.
"You know, I bet if Reid had known about this little tradition, he never would have joined Morgan and Hotch at the fire department," Prentiss said. They music was loud, but they could hear each other just fine with their raised voices.
Penelope grinned. "I'm sure of it," she agreed, her spine stiffening.
She could smell her before she saw her. She swung around, and there, less than ten feet behind her was Marissa Smithsonian. Penelope scowled, her gaze returning to Reid on the stage. This was going to be a long night.
"Come on, ladies. The money goes to charity," Hotch reminded the crowd. Not that he needed to—Reid had no cause for worry. The women were in a bidding frenzy over him. He was standing there in his khaki's—a white button up shirt underneath—and a blue blazer. His hands were in his pockets and he looked so awkwardly adorable that Penelope contemplated on bidding. But it was up to two thousand dollars now, and that was way out of her price range.
"Two-thousand! Do I hear twenty five hundred?" Hotch asked. "How about twenty two fifty?"
"Five thousand dollars," they heard a firm voice say.
A hush went over the crowd, and everyone turned to see who had bid five thousand dollars on the awkward young man gracing the stage. That was when the murmuring began.
"Sold!" Hotch said, pointing to the woman in the back. "To…Lila Archer?!"
Reid's head snapped up and he scanned the crowd, his gaze finally finding Lila. She grinned at him, lifting a hand in a small wave. He waved back and just stood there stunned.
Hotch cleared his throat and the sound was heard through the room. "Congratulations, Reid," he said.
Taking his cue, the young man exited the stage. But not before a round of awe's went up at the loss of a night spent with Spencer Reid.
"Who called her?" Reid asked, practically bouncing up behind Prentiss, Haley, and Garcia.
Penelope cocked an eyebrow at him "I did. On Monday. After you had that mini meltdown in my office? When you thought no one was gonna buy you?"
Reid grinned sheepishly. "I owe you," he said.
She nodded. "Yes, you do," she told him.
He nodded, taking her by the elbow and steering her away from her friends. "And I'm gonna pay you back right now with a piece of advice."
Penelope nodded expectantly.
"Bid on him," he said.
"He's not interested in her, Garcia. I believe his exact words were, 'My skin crawls when she's around,'" he informed her.
Penelope's eyes widened. "Spencer Reid, if you are lying to me—"
He shook his head. "I am not lying to you," he said.
Penelope sighed. But she wasn't going to do it. She didn't have the balls.
"Ladies, this man fetched a higher price than any other at last years' auction," Hotch said in a deep voice. "He works for the F.B.I., teaches self defense classes, and his hobbies include working out, walking his dog, and chasing the ladies. We saved the best for last—Derek Morgan!"
The sound level in the room rose when Derek threw the curtain back and stepped forward. He stopped, tilting his head to the side and giving a shameless grin. Penelope groaned inwardly as he strutted down the stage. He was wearing a pair of dark blue jeans and a fitted black t-shirt, every muscle in his upper body just waiting to burst through the material. She tossed back the whiskey sour she'd switched to a few men ago. Then she headed to the bar for another one. Stupid volunteer firefighters and their stupid perfect bodies.
By the time she got back to the stage, the bidding was up to fifteen hundred dollars, and Derek was shaking his hips. Oh, come on, she thought. Surely that was worth six thousand.
"Do I hear two thousand?" Hotch asked.
"Twenty five hundred!" another voice shouted.
"Twenty seven fifty!"
"Four thousand dollars!" Marissa Smithsonian said, making her move.
Penelope sighed, shifting her stance to put her weight on her other foot. She sure as hell didn't want Marissa Smithsonian taking Derek home tonight, but what was she going to do? It wasn't like she had the money to bid on him.
She heard a clearing throat beside her. She looked over and Lila was standing there with a grin. She shrugged carelessly. "So, I'm gonna donate another five grand anyway," she said. "For the kids. So, if you want to bid on him—"
"Why would I want to do that?" Penelope asked shrilly.
"Because your pupils are dilated and your hands are in fists," Reid said, joining the conversation.
Penelope forced her hands to relax. "No, they're not," she muttered.
"Going once," Hotch said.
Penelope sighed and grabbed Prentiss' drink from her hand, downing it in one swallow.
"What the…" Prentiss started.
"Oh my god, I hope they take checks!" Penelope said as she grabbed Emily's arm. She used it to steady herself as she climbed up on the table top behind them.
"Garcia, what in the hell are you doing?" Prentiss asked.
"Going Twice!" Hotch continued.
"Don't bid more than Lila did!" Reid begged.
"Four thousand nine hundred ninety nine dollars and ninety nine cents!" Penelope bid breathlessly.
"Sold!" Hotch said. "To the…second most beautiful blonde in the room."
He looked at Haley and winked.
Derek's eyes flew to Penelope's and she could feel her face reddening. His eyes widened, then continued to peruse her entire body in appreciation. He lifted an eyebrow at her and all she could do was smile helplessly.
What in the hell had she just done?