Chapter 1

AN: Still in a fluffy mood....Newest thing.... A little fluff, a touch of angst (of course!), a dash of fun, a pinch of heat, and a lot of love.....

"Good Lord," Penelope said, sitting across from her landlord. If it was physically possible for Penelope to be speechless, this would've done it. "When are you going to do that?"

Jim Rivers, a very nice older man with a gray beard and a potbelly, had the good graces to look sheepish. He should; he was kicking her out of her home. Well, technically not kicking her out, but still…

"The senior community is going to be very nice here. It is much needed in the community. The city council was looking at this site for a long time, since it has an enclosed courtyard," he said. "You are welcome to stay, of course, Miss Garcia."

She started to laugh. "I'm thirty-two, Mr. Rivers. What thirty-two year old wants to live in a retirement community?"

He stared blankly at her. "Well, there are some benefits…"

"No, thank you," she said. "One month?"

"Well, as soon as possible would be best, in that case. We need to start renovations. You understand how that goes," he said. He looked sheepish again, adding, "You've been a very enjoyable tenant here, Miss Garcia. If you'd like to stay, you would be no trouble; I think you'd fit in."

Fit in? Jeez, she felt like she was eighty-two. She didn't have a huge party lifestyle, but she did have a steady boyfriend and made some noise once in awhile. Well, not as often as she'd like to. She was no Morgan, that's for sure, but still…

She was sure he didn't mean to be insulting, but that didn't discount the fact that he was. "Again, no thank you."

He didn't say anything else, just nodded and left.

And Pen was officially homeless.


"That's rotten, how that went down, baby girl," Derek said over the phone. He was munching on something crunchy on the other end. It was driving her crazy. "Don't they have to give you more notice?"

"No, they… what are you eating?"

"Protein bar. I had to grab something quick; no time to get anything else," he said. "Eating on the run."

"Oh," she said. Poor Morgan, they were running him ragged lately. He was either out of town, in training, or speaking somewhere. He obviously hated it, which made Pen feel even worse. Right now, he was calling from North Dakota, and hadn't slept in two days. It made her worry about him. "You need to take care of yourself; you're going to get sick."

"P," he said, laughing a little. "We were talking about you. Only a month's notice?"

"Yeah, that's all the city requires they give a tenant. He said I could stay, but-"

"You didn't consider that, did you?" He was absolutely incredulous.

"No," she said, but her brow furrowed. Really, being there was better than not having a home. She looked, there was very limited housing in the area, due to all the naval families that moved in and out all the time.

"But what, baby?" he said, surprising her. "I can tell you're thinking of something in that pretty head of yours."

"There's no place to go, honey." She sighed, "I looked all last night; no apartments except some seedy places in town I don't want to live."

He was quiet for just a few seconds. "How about with me for awhile, until you find a good place?" She started to laugh, but he surprised her by continuing. "No, really. I'm never there, so it would be nice to have somebody around to watch things. We don't irritate each other—"

"We would, living together," she said. She couldn't impose like that. They were friends, really good friends, but that was it. She barely knew what his place looked like.

"Come on," he said. "It would be fun to have a roommate. Haven't done that since college, so I'm looking forward to it."

"Alright," she agreed begrudgingly. Then she added quickly, "But you can kick me out if I cramp your style,"

"It's going to be fine," he said. "You'll see. I'm gone so much, we'll barely see each other."

"I wouldn't really want that either," she said, purring slightly. "I like seeing you, my vision. Seeing all of you would be preferable...."

"Now that's my girl," he said, and she could tell he was smiling, even though she couldn't see him. "See you when I get home, and we'll work it out."