Disclaimer: I don't own CM and the characters. I just abuse them ;-)

This story hasn't been betaed, so please forgive my mistakes. English isn't my native language.


Deep down inside she knew she should never have opened the door, but it was as if an unpredictable force within her told her to do so. It was wrong to allow him entering her home and her private life. She strictly separated her work from her private life and watching by as he violated the very last thing on earth she held dearly was just another slap in her face. But then... it was just one more regret and one more mistake.

He had called her fifteen minutes earlier. To warn her? To make sure she knew she had it coming?

"Are you alone?"

"No, I'm not."

The message had been easy to understand, but of course he refused to listen. As always. David Rossi was always ready to show the bureaucrat Erin Strauss that he was the one who made the decisions while she was the one to stood by. She didn't want him near her, because she saw no reason in talking to him. Heck, she didn't even know why he wanted to see her. Hadn't he got what he wanted?

"Shouldn't you be out, celebrating your victory?" she asked sarcastically, as he made his way into her living room. He stopped and turned, taking possession of the room, though his appearance wasn't the one of a winner.

It was Saturday evening, the rain outside hit violently against the windows. He was dripping wet, his shoes left prints of mud on her floor and smelled of whiskey and cigars. She had just taken a shower and was wearing her favorite turtleneck sweater and a pair of comfortable jeans. She had prepared for an evening with work, or at least the work she had accomplished before she put an end to all of it. An open box with files cases stood on the coffee table and next to it a can filled with hot tea. A fire flickered in the fireplace, filling the air with warmth and the smell of wood. Nothing around here looked like the Erin Strauss he knew from the office, but he didn't seem too surprised.

"I tried to," he answered, using the same ironic undertone that he only used when he talked to her. "Didn't work."

"I'm sorry to hear that. I thought you were out with your fellow agents to tell them every detail of your latest achievement. Maybe they can learn a thing or two from you. After all you're the one with the ultimate experience."

He gave her a long, pensive look. "Believe it or not, not all men are like that."

He earned a bitter snort, "Sure, you only talk about cars and football, when you enjoy your after work drinks."

"Stop doing this, Erin."

"Stop doing what?"

"Pretending as if I'm the only one who made a mistake. I'm not the bad guy in this."

A mistake. What a decent way to describe it. Getting a ticket for speeding was a mistake. Screwing someone you hated, was unforgivable.

"So what do you want from me?" she asked and cleared her throat. "I'm waiting for Adam to come home, so if you don't mind..."

The mention of her husband's name hit him visibly. Suddenly he seemed to become aware of where he was. He shifted from one feet to the other and looked around and nodded slowly, before he returned his attention to her.

"What happened last night?" he asked after a while.

Erin shrugged, surprised. "You were there," she inhaled deeply. "And from what I got from your dossier you're the one who is more familiar with the situation."

"And what does that mean?"

"You're the one with the routine when it comes to fraternizing with your co workers, superiors or subordinates... I'm not so sure how all of this works, but I've come to the conclusion I don't want to know how you deal with your conquests!"

Turning away from him, she crossed her arms over her chest. She wished he would leave her house, leave her alone in her misery so that she could make a decision for her future. But the wall she tried to erect around herself didn't help. It didn't offer her the protection she was seeking for. She could still feel his eyes on her, just as she had felt his hands on her skin the night before.

"If you think last night had anything to do with routine, you're even dumber..." he drew a deep breath, "Or crueler than I thought," he said, his voice dripping with repressed anger or was there something else in his voice he was trying to hide? Uncertain, she turned her head and looked at him. He was slightly trembling, clenching his fists in the pockets of his wet coat.

"Me being cruel?" she asked crisply. "That's a good one." she paused, pinning him with her clear eyes. "You had me, Rossi. You've accomplished what you've always wanted... now you can go out and tell the world that Erin Strauss is breaking her own rules and she's not better than the rest of it. She's a bureaucrat, an adulteress, and a lousy loser. You can write it on the wall and scream it from the top of the mountains, if you want to, but spare me your crap and leave my house! My husband is supposed to come home every minute and your shoes are ruining my carpet," She hissed, watching him while the fury in his eyes started fading and changed into something she couldn't name. Was it sadness? Disappointment? Confusion? Maybe it was a mixture of all three.

"You think I slept with you, because I wanted to prove you something?" he asked, holding his breath.

She shrugged again. "Me, yourself... is that important? You won."

"Do I look like a winner?" he asked back and pointed at his messed up appearance. "After I left your office last night, I went into the next bar, hoping a whiskey or two would help to forget what we did, but when the bottle was empty and I found myself on the dirty floor, I knew I would never forget what had happened between us."

She bit her lips. Curious. She had tried the same... only that she had emptied a bottle while she lay in her bathtub, hoping to get rid off his scent and the marks he had left all over her body. Without success. In the morning she had opened her eyes and his scent had been all over her, as if he had spent the night right next to her and she had been ashamed, because the mere memory of his touch had aroused her .

"It was the best sex I ever had," he admitted bluntly and she felt the blood rushing into her cheeks.

"Don't say that," she hissed, glaring at him.

"Why not? It's the truth. Believe it or not, it was the best damn sex I ever had and I wished I could have shared it with any other woman but you!" he yelled angrily. "You're the poison in my blood! You drive me crazy!"

"Maybe the next time you should pick someone else's office when you feel the urgent need to talk or to screw someone! Let another woman be at the receiving end of your... attention!"

Glaring at each other, neither of them moved. Tension filled the air, waiting for the first one to give up or to continue.

"I didn't set you up," he finally said, holding her gaze. His voice was calm, but it lacked the usual sarcasm. "I didn't come to you last night, because I wanted to seduce you. I came to you, because I wanted to cut your head off, because you just can't leave Hotchner alone... I didn't want to sleep with you. It just happened and you weren't exactly reluctant... though the scratches on my back could make one believe otherwise, but I won't apologize for anything I said or did."

What followed was a long silence. In the end she couldn't stand his eyes anymore and looked away. Her defense broke like a barrage after a storm flood and defeated she sank on the armrest of the couch.

"I am a married woman," she said lowly, without even trying to keep her voice or her body from shaking. "And I'm your superior... there's no way, I can stay with the FBI or BAU and that's why I'm going to resign. Shepperd will get my letter of resignation on Monday. I just wouldn't be so sure that my successor will leave Hotchner and your team alone. You're all on the black list, so don't think me leaving will save your neck."

His jaw dropped and for several heartbeats he said nothing. He just stared at her. "You can't do this. This job is what you've always wanted..." he whispered. "It's your life."

"Yes, and I lost it last night along with my integrity."

He couldn't believe it and couldn't even think of it. He couldn't imagine the office without Erin being around. Without her orders, her meetings and her personal way to piss people off and getting the best of their work at the same time. Last night he hadn't cared for the wedding band around her finger. He didn't know Adam Strauss and saw no reason to worry about him, but he did worry about the fact she could quit her job and leave his life.

"You know that's not true. Nobody will ever know it... nobody will ever find out."

She grinned unhappily. "You know people always find out and before you know it, you're the topic of conversation at the coffee dispensers and in the hallways," she mused staring into nowhere.

"Nobody saw us... it was Friday night... we were alone... and unless you've already talked to someone you and I are the only people who know it."

She looked up and her eyes met his. "Yes, and I doubt I could live with myself if I had to see you every day in the office..." she didn't continue. If she said anything more, she would admit he meant something to her and though she was weak right now, she wasn't stupid. He would use it against her sooner or later and she had to protect herself from him.

"It meant something to you," he concluded hoarsely. "You wanted it as much as I did and now you can't stand yourself, because you gave in."

He made a step toward her, but she rose and ensured there was a safe, physical distance between them.

"Don't please... I can't and you know it. Adam is coming back soon, so..." He knew she was drawing a line here and he understood why she did it. As much as he hated to admit it she was reasonable force in this odd situation and she was right. In a way she was protecting the both of them.

"You want me to leave..."

"Yes." She nodded.

"All right," he agreed slowly. "I'll go, but please think about what I said... you shouldn't leave the FBI or the BAU... not because of..." he stopped.

She looked at him, expecting him to call it a 'mistake', but he didn't repeat his description for their dilemma.

"Nobody has to know," he cleared his throat. "And nobody would believe it either," he added dryly.

"That's a point," she said, repressing a smile.

While she started reevaluating her options, he closed the distance between them. Suddenly he stood so close that she could touch him.

"I'm sorry," he said lowly. "Not because of what happened, but because of..." he didn't know what to say. He couldn't offer her friendship or love, but he desired her. Now even more than ever before.

"David Rossi, God's gift to all women," she scoffed, but her voice lacked the sharpness, she had intended to use. Yet, it was enough to send him over the edge.

Within less than two seconds he placed his hand around her neck and pulled her against him. His mouth crashed violently on hers and his tongue demanded entrance. Surprised and shocked as she was, she didn't fight him and her lips parted without hesitation, granting him access. She tasted the whiskey and the expensive tobacco, recognized it instantly. Her senses were all awake, her body all tensed and her brain shut down. Her body betrayed her and reacted hungrily to the seductive dance his tongue was performing around hers.

As if he sensed, she wouldn't gain the strength to break free from him, his kiss softened. He slowed down, let his hands roam her body and removed the barrette from her hair. He hadn't kissed her like that the night before, hadn't taken his time to explore her and to find out how she liked to be kissed. But now he did and her genuine response aroused him, made him actually thinking of throwing her onto the floor to continue where they had stopped the night before.

Later he couldn't say, it was his common sense that had stopped them, it was a flashing, disturbing light that made them feel like caught thieves. They froze and waited. A car was stopping in the gateway, a door opened and closed again.

"That's Adam's car," she mumbled against his chest. "Please, go. Now."

"Promise me, you won't do anything stupid."

"I don't know what I'll do." she gently pushed him away from her. "Go now. There's a back door in the kitchen."

Without losing another word, he rushed out of the living room. She heard the kitchen door shutting, as the front door opened. She picked up her barrette, tight her hair up and drew a deep breath. Her clothes were wet where his body had been pressed against hers. KNowing she needed to change is quickly as possible, she headed for the staircase in the hallway.

"Erin? I'm home!"

"I'm upstairs," she yelled, breathless while heading upstairs. "Careful, there's mud on the floor... the delivery boy had dirty shoes..."