Author's Note: We've got several notes for you today, guys, so hang with us for a second.

First of all, we'd like to talk to you about our next challenge! Wanna fun way to celebrate Halloween this year? Join us for our Round 5 Challenge – The Candy Land Adventure on Chit Chat on Author's Corner. Our challenges are open to any author, regardless of experience…and we have a spot ready for you. All you have to do is suggest a CM pairing and the name of a popular candy. We'll take all the suggestions, present them to the Great Pumpkin, then assign you a pairing & candy type at the first of October. You'll have a month to write your story, and it can be whatever you choose…drabble or epic, romance or friendship. And it does not have to be about Halloween or candy! For more information and to sign up, visit our forum, Chit Chat on Author's Corner, and click on Round 5 challenge!

Second of all, we have exciting news, my friends! Nominating ballots for "The Profiler's Choice Awards" are ready and waiting for you at the "Chit Chat on Author's Corner" forum. So please, everyone, come on over and name some of your favorite fics and authors. Lets honor our favorite stories and authors on the CM site! We want to hear from you. Rules and guidelines are also available at the forum and as always, tonnie2001969 and I would be delighted to answer any questions that you may have. Now, let's get nominating! Our first ballots are beginning to trickle in and we love hearing from each of you!

For anyone willing to help us advertise the awards, we've created a short author's note template available on both my profile page (ilovetvalot) and my co-author's (tonnie2001969). We'd love to have everybody's help making this venture a huge and fun success. Please feel free to copy and paste it into your own author's notes and/or profiles! With your help, I believe this can become an annual event that we ALL look forward to seeing. I hope that you're all as eager as I am to see this incredible project lift off. And a very BIG thanks to all the authors helping us advertise these awards! We truly appreciate any assistance you can provide.

Additionally, we have a wonderful new interview for you at the forum as well. Come, as we get to know the talented cm4ever this week.

Also, we wanted to take a second to thank everyone that continues to read, review, favorite and alert our stories. Writing is a pleasure, but you guys, you make it worthwhile!

And please, fellow authors and readers, don't forget to get out there and nominate your favorite authors and stories. We're excited to hear from you!


Blindsided

He'd sworn he'd never allow himself to fall victim to his own fickle heart again. His heart had gotten him into more trouble than he cared to remember over the years.

His heart had, on many varied occasions, lied.

So… trusting the faulty organ now? Probably not one of his more intelligent moves.

He'd only meant to offer comfort...friendship, even...when he'd shown up at the door. It had been meant to be a show of solidarity. But, as usual, the fates had forced his hand once again, careening him toward something he hadn't been expecting.

Something that he hadn't even realized that he wanted.

And now, here he was, his naked body pressed chest to toes against his best friend. Closing his eyes at the sheer bliss, he began to allow his mind to wander.

And his mind had some very distinctive warnings to share. The quickest way to ruin a friendship is to add the ingredient of sex, Dave. How many times do you need to step in the fucking hole before you remember that it's there, Dave? Look around you, man. Do you really have so many friends left that you can go around screwing your way through them, Dave?

Damn it, regrets weren't something he was accustomed to having! He did what he wanted with whom he wanted. He always had.

But, damn, he hadn't counted on this. Not with this person.

Not with his best friend.

Hearing the soft sigh escaping his new lover's lips, Dave grimaced tiredly. Glancing at the clock, he wondered how long Aaron was going to sleep. Not that he should complain. Under normal circumstanced, the very fact that the dark haired man had drifted off would have thrilled him no end.

It certainly had earlier when Aaron had finally surrendered to his incessant griping and actually gone to bed. He'd promised his former protégé that he'd stick around. After all, Foyet's most recent attack had them all on their guard, and he'd been unwilling to leave Aaron alone until he was strong enough to defend himself again. Hell, they'd all been taking turns.

Him. Prentiss. Morgan. Reid.

An endless revolving door of well- meaning colleagues.

But he hadn't been expecting the nightmares. He should have. Logically, it made sense, he supposed. No one could endure that kind of trauma and walk away unscathed.

But seeing his friend in the throes of terror had catapulted him into protective mode, and he'd began to soothe his sweaty, disoriented friend.

When he'd crawled on the bed beside Aaron, sex had been the last thing on his mind. Hell, he hadn't swung on that particular branch of the tree since the seventies. God knows, he'd thought those baser urges had long since dissipated. But as his hand had soothed the warm flesh of Aaron's trembling body, something had changed. The air had taken on an electric charge and as he'd calmed, Aaron's gaze had become heavy lidded...sensual.

The kiss they'd exchanged had been beyond Dave's control...and it had felt like the most natural thing that had happened to him in years. After that, pent-up attraction had taken over, his body ignoring his mind's commands.

And with every tentative touch, sensations were magnified. And nature had taken its due course.

And unlike his former dalliances with women over the recent years, he hadn't been compelled with the urge to run when it was over. Strange.

Wrapping Aaron Hotchner in his arms and cuddling the younger man against his chest had been an instinctive reaction...one he hadn't felt since his first marriage.

Even now, as he lay in the bed beside the other man, arms still embracing Aaron's body while he second guessed himself, Dave couldn't force himself to let go. He couldn't abide the idea of losing this connection.

Feeling the younger man stir against him, he caught his breath as Hotch turned in his arms. Meeting the dark onyx gaze focused on him, Dave murmured, his tongue slightly tied, "Hi."

"Hey," Hotch replied hoarsely, raising his head an inch. "What time is it?" he whispered, squinting at the alarm clock.

"Just gone four," Dave replied, relieved to note that there was no tension in Aaron's voice, just the gravelly remnants of sleep. His heartbeat slowed as he felt Aaron's relax body conform to his, the other man's dark head dropping back to his shoulder.

"Early," Hotch mumbled, pressing his nose against Dave's throat. "You stayed," he murmured after a moment. "I'm surprised."

Smiling faintly for the first time since he'd awoken, Dave nodded. "Me, too."

"You didn't have to," Hotch whispered in the dark as the hand resting on Dave's chest toyed with the wiry hair, the steadily rising and falling of the muscles a comfort..

"I couldn't help myself," Dave replied with quiet honesty as he lifted one hand to prop behind his head. "You blindsided me," he added, light accusation coloring his word in the dark of the night.

"That works both ways," Hotch replied evenly, lifting his head to try and read Dave's shadowed face.

"I suppose so," Dave rumbled.

Dave's words vibrated against Hotch's ear. Swallowing, Hotch nodded in silent agreement. "I don't have any regrets, Dave," Aaron said softly, refusing to question himself or his motives. "I wanted you."

Dropping his gaze to the usually stoic man who was obviously forcing himself to be open…to be honest about his feelings…Dave softened, his own self-doubt slowly receding in the face of Aaron's honest sincerity. "I only had one," Dave admitted huskily.

"Regret?" Hotch asked carefully, stiffening slightly in Dave's arms.

"Yeah," Dave nodded, lifting a hand to cup Aaron's whiskered cheek. "I was worried that I'd destroyed the only friendship that I've ever managed to maintain."

"No," Aaron denied softly, shaking his head.

"We've always been close, Aaron. Hell, you know me better than most of the wives I've had. To ruin that...I was scared," Dave confessed. "I don't regret what we did. But if I had to chose between our friendship and a fuck...I'll choose friendship."

"Do they have to be mutually exclusive?" Hotch asked, his dark eyes gleaming in the dim bedroom.

"That's up to you," Dave replied, his deep voice reverberating in the dark, the faint moonlight illuminating his lover's face.

"I want both," Hotch declared softly, stretching up to brush a soft kiss against Dave's parted lips.

Slowly sinking into Aaron's embrace, Dave's clouded mind produced one last coherent thought.

He'd been blindsided. By love.

Finis