Author's Note: Thanks to everyone still reading and reviewing our stories. We adore hearing from you. A few housekeeping notes for today...two interviews with two of our amazing fellow authors have been posted today at the discussion forum, "Chit Chat on Author's Corner". Foreverpadfoot and Dustytiger graciously agreed to be my first participants. Please check out their interviews at the forum and take a look at some of their wonderful work. If anyone has a favorite author that they'd like to see interviewed or learn more about, shoot me a PM and I'll see if they're amenable. As always, I really love hearing from you guys! It's an honor to be allowed to write for you. Thanks, again.
Behind The Barred Door
Outside the closet, standing on the edge of the bullpen, Miss Mac said sympathetically, "I'd let 'em out, Agent Rossi. Sounds to me like they're plotting your imminent downfall. Painfully."
"This is all my wife's fault," Dave muttered, looking darkly toward the blocked door once again, not at all surprised that his petite wife had managed to out maneuver such two determined people. His Jennifer was a force to be reckoned with, and apparently he was the one on the reckoning side.
"Maybe," Miss Mac nodded, propping her arm against her broom as she stared at the older agent, "but I believe it's your ass hanging over the fire pit now, sir," she noted bluntly, her grey head tilting to the side.
"And if I know Garcia, it's about to be charred beyond all recognition," Dave groaned, walking toward the door as Miss Mac went back to her cleaning. Dropping his hands in his pockets, Dave called loudly, "Okay, you two, we need to get a couple of things clear before I open this door."
"If you don't open this door, Rossi, the only thing clear is gonna be the bruises I leave on your body, man," Morgan growled back, his jaw tightening as he realized that yes, indeed, there was another human being on the other side of that door. A human being that had the ability to release them, immediately.
"Now, see," Dave replied, his voice patient as he shook his head at that barricaded door, "that's the kind of threat I wanna avoid, Derek. Your beef is with my wife, not me. I'm just the emissary she employed to open the door. IF we can come to an equitable arrangement," Dave offered magnanimously, "Then I believe I can ensure your release."
"My former best friend has a lot to answer for," Penelope yelped, banging on the door rapidly with both curled fists as she exchanged a dark look with her new lover, "That's for sure! And believe me, I plan to talk to her about her deception at great length. Now open this door."
"See, I can't do that just yet," Dave replied regretfully, remembering the promise he'd made JJ in the heat of passion. That woman was a master manipulator, and he felt that he would do well to remember that little tidbit for future negotiations.
"Why the hell not?" Morgan barked, relaxing slightly when he felt Penelope's soft hand against his chest, her fingers curling into the fabric of his shirt.
"First, I need to know that you two have worked out your differences," Rossi stated, holding his breath in anticipation of the answer.
"Oh, we worked out a lot more than our differences in here," Morgan said with a wicked leer toward the now half-empty box on the floor.
"Good," Dave nodded approvingly, relieved to hear that progress had been made. Perhaps now his wife would retire her matchmaking wings. He believed that would be the best course of action for all involved.
"In fact," Pen purred, winking at Morgan as she continued to yell through the door, "we'd be happy to produce evidence in the form of several empty condom wrappers," she said generously, knowing that if there was one thing that disgusted Agent David Rossi, it was hearing about his colleagues' sex life.
"No thank you," Dave shuddered, grimacing as he made a mental note of specific items to discuss with his wife at a later date. "Your word will suffice, thank you very much. Now, I've only got one more condition."
"What now?" Morgan whined, banging his head against the door with a loud pop.
"I need your word that my participation, which, by the way, was limited to allowing you out of your current prison, will be forgiven and no punishment levied against me. And, yeah, Garcia, I mean you!"
Rolling her eyes at the older man's obvious attempts at appeasement, Penelope chirped, "Fine! But your wife is fair game!"
"Might I request pictures and video of your retribution?" Dave asked with a grin, moving the chair blocking the door aside, the legs squeaking against the tile floor.
"Will it make you move any faster?" Pen growled, tapping her foot as she heard noise on the other side of the door.
"I'll personally put it up on YouTube the moment it happens if you'll just move your ass, Rossi," Morgan begged as he heard something slide from the door.
Pulling a deep breath, Dave opened the door, stepping immediately back out of the flight path as a decidedly disgusted Garcia barreled past him, her legs moving faster than his son's did when he was trying to escape bath time.
"Tell my little Gumdrop that she's living on borrowed time," Pen shouted over her shoulder, disappearing into the lady's room, the door slapping shut behind her.
Turning his gaze from her to a disgruntled Derek Morgan, Dave quirked a brow as he asked, "Was her shirt on inside out and backward?"
"What do you think?" Morgan grunted, grabbing for a candy dish on a nearby desk and popping the treat whole into his mouth, chomping happily.
"I think," Dave drawled, noting the faint bruising just beginning on Morgan's dark-skinned neck, "that YOU, my friend, owe my wife flowers."
"And candy," Morgan returned with a wink as he dumped the entire contents of the bowl into his pocket. "And by the way, Rossi, you might want to tell JJ that the next time she packs an emergency supply box, she might want to include a few protein bars. I appreciate all of her other treats, but we worked up quite a hunger using them, if you get my drift."
Watching as the younger agent sauntered toward his desk, Rossi frowned over his shoulder as he glanced back at the now opened door. Mumbling to himself as he shook his head, "What exactly did my wife put in that box?"
But as he watched Garcia re-enter the area, barreling into Morgan's arms for a scorching kiss, David Rossi decided that apparently, the mission had been successful. And in their current world, the end definitely justified the means.