Author's Note: We're excited to announce our Round 3 of our Fanfic Challenge on Chit Chat on Author's Corner forum. The Dealer's Choice August Challenge is a great way to stretch your writing muscles! Simply suggest a pairing from the seven main Criminal Minds characters and list three different things to include in the story. (Example: You request Hotch/Emily and your prompts are a starry night, a cashmere blanket and a bottle of Merlot.) Your suggestion will be assigned to another author, and you'll receive a similar suggestion. Your final story must include your assigned pairing and must include at least two of the three prompts you were given in some capacity. Stories can be short or long, romantic or friendship, angst or humor…and anything else in between! Sign ups will continue through August 2, assignments will be given on August 3, and stories are due by August 31! Please visit the forum or shoot us a PM if you are interested in participating. We'd love to have you! And please visit the forum to read our latest interviews with the lovely KricketWilliams and the talented Ahmoselnarus! ! Also, we have began a discussion thread for our fellow author, Angel N Darkness, who was in a serious car accident on Sunday. Please say a prayer for her hasty recovery and visit the thread to leave your best wishes. Updates on her condition will be posted there as we receive them.
The Princess had been dethroned.
As she stood watching him, Penelope Garcia was entirely certain of that simple yet horrible truth. Tamara Barnes had usurped what she thought had been a secure position within Derek Morgan's faithful heart.
Wincing as he laughed at something the other woman said, his hip perched carelessly against his desk, Penelope tried to ignore the piercing sting in her own heart. After all, her mind screamed in justification, if he'd been that easily distracted, it wasn't meant to be, right?
You're wrong, her heart answered in contradiction, constricting again as Tamara leaned forward to place her hand on Derek's thigh as she animatedly said something that must have amused him judging from the look on his handsomely chiseled face. You left it to chance too long, Garcia.
And she had. She'd always thought there'd be more time...a better moment to express how she felt for the Brown Adonis that had stolen her heart years before. But, in the blink of an eye...a fleeting moment...her opportunity had passed and this was the consequence.
Her name was Tamara Barnes.
Penelope could fight. She knew that. She was an expert at digging up the dark details of an enemy's life. Hadn't she made a lucrative yet frazzling career of it?
But something told her that the beautiful woman currently captivating her God of Thunder didn't deserve her wrath. No, the desirable and sexy specimen before her couldn't be blamed for her insecurities. The culpability fell to her alone.
She'd been a coward.
The upshot was that her Love Muffin appeared happy, his serene face enthralled by whatever the lady before him was saying. And if his heart didn't lie faithfully with her, she wanted it to be somewhere safe. Hopefully, Ms. Barnes would guard it well. While destroying the interloper for her own selfish motivations was out of the question, technologically obliterating said woman for daring to hurt the one she loved was entirely within the realm of possibility.
Sighing as the statuesque beauty stood and Derek brushed a kiss against her waiting lips, Penelope's eyes fell closed, suddenly unable to process another single pixel in what was definitely an out-of-focus world.
Yes, it was a harsh reality that she never thought she'd need to accept.
But, the princess had, indeed, been dethroned.