Author's Note: Hello, wonderful readers. We have just a few announcements for everyone today.
First, please remember to try and spare a few moments over the upcoming three weeks and VOTE for your favorite authors and stories in the "Profiler's Choice Awards" at "Chit Chat on Author's Corner" forum. You have through the end of November 30, 2010 to let your vote be heard and we want to hear from each one of you. If you don't know much about forums, links can be found through either my profile (ilovetvalot) or my awesome co-author (tonnie2001969). Remember, anyone that wants to help advertise the awards has our unending gratitude and there is also a short blurb you can use on our profile pages.
Second, we also have a new fortune cookie prompt for you at the forum compliments of our "Fortune Cookie Friday post (Sorry, we forgot to advertise it yesterday). And we also have great new interviews with several of our nominees. Today, we are "getting to know" the following: -Sweetheart.X, LostinOblivion, MissAmieB, nebula2 and JazziePerson. More interviews are coming soon!
Many thanks to everyone still reading these stories. We really appreciate you. Now, on with the show!
Just a note, this is 17th in our ongoing Shakespeare Series and is a post-ep for "Middle Man".
The Course of True Love
TV Prompt: Death Valley Days - "The Great Turkey War"
As David Rossi lowered his tired body into one of the wooden rocking chairs adorning his wraparound porch, he stared out over the rolling slope of his property. The setting sun in the distance seemed to fade on the horizon as a cool wind swept the porch, blowing dried leaves over the rough hewn planks. Damn, he thought with a smile, he hadn't felt this way in a long time...hell, in truth, he wasn't sure he'd ever felt this way before.
For the first time in his life, he was utterly content.
And it was all thanks to one woman and her very addicting son.
As if his thoughts conjured her, he heard the screen door behind him open and her soft footsteps falling against the faded planks of his deck. Glancing over his shoulder, he felt his breath catch in his chest.
She looked beautiful. From her socked feet to her loose long hair blowing in the breeze, she captivated him, holding him hostage with just the merest look. "Is the munchkin down for the night?" he asked when he could find his voice again, the slight hoarseness evident in his soft words.
Nodding, JJ smiled as she moved across the porch toward him. "Like a light," she answered softly. "I think we wore him out today," she murmured, her eyes scanning the peaceful horizon. "That trip to the stables did the trick, I think," she noted just as she felt Dave's large hand capture hers and tug her down into his lap.
Leaning back against his chest, she dropped her head into the crook of his neck and stared out across the field. "I'm glad you talked me into coming out here this weekend," she admitted, remembering her hesitance to leave the city this weekend, the mountains of paperwork that came with her new job tempting her to decline his invitation.
But in typical Rossi style, he'd persuaded her into playing hooky from the real world for the weekend. And since he'd spent most of the week chasing a pack of killers through Indiana's cornfields, she hadn't had the heart to say no. He'd effectively argued her into submission. And she couldn't have been more grateful.
"I knew you didn't really want to say no. If you had, I'd have dropped it and we'd have stayed in the city," he rumbled against her temple, pressing a kiss to the warm skin there. Hell, he didn't care where they were as long as they were together. But the pinched look on JJ's face when they'd returned from Indiana on Thursday had been the only clue he needed to know that she needed a break.
"Is that so, Agent Rossi?" JJ asked with a soft laugh as she snuggled against him, her sweatshirt and his arms producing all the warmth she needed against the cool wind blowing. "I guess you're getting to know me better all the time, huh?"
"I pay attention to the things and people that matter most to me," he whispered, enjoying the feel of her insubstantial weight against him. "Besides, I knew you wouldn't pass up the opportunity to take Henry riding," he smiled, pressing his lips against her hair. "It'll be too cold to go before too much longer."
"That's true," JJ sighed, his words warming her heart. She had to admit that it was a wonderful feeling to know someone valued your company...and David Rossi had taken every chance he got to make sure she knew how much he enjoyed being with her and her son. "I guess you'll have to think of some more creative ways to get us out here soon."
"Ahhh," he said, shifting her in his arms so that he could look down at her, "but, that's already being taken care of for me."
"Oh, it is, is it?" JJ grinned, pressing a kiss to his whiskered jaw and relishing the moment. If someone had told her a scant three months ago that she'd be sitting in David Rossi's lap, freely affectionate, she'd have laughed her ass of right before she had the poor soul committed to the nearest mental institution. Yet, here she was, being held against the broad chest of one of DC's most prominent bachelors. And scarier still, she was enjoying it...this closeness. And while she hadn't shared Dave's bed yet, she had no doubts now where their relationship was headed. His Halloween hint about the direction he intended for them to travel hadn't been missed by her. And she was breathlessly anticipating taking things to the next level.
"Mmmm," he hummed, comforted by the feel of her cool lips against his jaw. "That's right...I haven't told you the latest coup that your friend Garcia the Great has staged, have I?"
Perplexed, JJ shook her head. "I haven't talked to her since before you came home. We've been playing cell phone tag. And since you've stolen me away into the land of no cell phone reception, I'm sort of out of the loop."
"No reception is one of this place's prime selling points," Dave grunted defensively, narrowing his eyes in preparation for yet another discussion about his lack of technological amenities.
"Yes, it is," JJ said agreeably, settling against him. "But it's not exactly conducive for getting up to the minute updates from our favorite technical analyst."
"Well," Dave murmured, tightening his arms around her, "allow me to enlighten you to our newest team developments. Care to ask me how I spent my Friday? I promise, it'll explain why I was so desperate to whisk you and my favorite little boy out here," he swore solemnly.
"Okay," JJ drawled. "I'll play," she conceded amenably before sing-songing, "Tell me, Dave, how did you spend your Friday?"
"I'm glad you asked, JJ," Dave winked, tickling her ribcage mercilessly as she giggled in his arms, wriggling in his lap and pulling his own pained groan from his lips as she rubbed against him.
Realizing the prominent problem she'd caused with her movement almost immediately, her eyes sparkled as she eyed him with something very close to satisfaction. "That's what you get for tickling me," she chided, her voice filled with laughter.
Smiling, Dave sighed. "Worth the risk to hear you laugh like that. But back to our original conversation, I spent my Friday negotiating peace in the Great Turkey War of 2010."
"What?" JJ asked blankly. Sometimes she really, really missed being a member of the BAU team. And this was one of those moments when she truly felt like she was on the outside looking in.
"You heard me," Dave nodded gravely. "And in the interest of peace, I have sacrificed you and me to the great Penelope Garcia's nefarious plans."
She really should have answered her phone the last time Garcia called, JJ thought idly as she peered up into her almost-lover's face. "Start explaining, Rossi. What have you gotten me into through guilt by association?"
"Breathe easy, babe," Dave soothed, threading his fingers through her long hair to massage her scalp. "We'd already decided to spend Thanksgiving together anyway," he reminded her.
"We had," JJ nodded. "But what does that have to do with Garcia and the team?"
"Well, it seems that our wonderfully wacky friend has decided that the entire team needs to be together this year and has commandeered Little Creek for her diabolical plans. Evidently, we don't already spend enough time together," he grumbled under his breath.
Lip twitching at his gruff tone, JJ stroked his jaw with light fingers. "So, what you're telling me is that we're going to have company for our first official holiday as a couple."
Eyebrow lifting as his dark eyes met hers, Dave chuckled, "So, is that finally verbal confirmation I hear from you that we are, in fact, a couple?"
"Not if you're going to be arrogant about it," JJ replied sweetly, plucking at his whiskers.
"That's not arrogance you hear, babe. That's pure satisfaction," Dave countered, dropping his head to claim her lips for an equally satisfying kiss.
"Mmm," JJ hummed against his mouth before finally pulling away. "Okay, so what other fine points did you have to mediate in this so-called war?"
"The turkey," Dave replied flatly, rolling his eyes. "Specifically, who was going to cook it."
"Not me," JJ shook her head immediately, slapping her hand against his chest. "I'm on dessert duty."
Grinning at her immediate denial, Dave snuggled her closer. "Yes, I'm well aware of your feelings in the matter, JJ."
"I'm just reiterating," JJ muttered, resting her cheek against his warm neck as another breeze tussled her hair. "I don't cook turkeys."
"Yes, well...neither does anyone else. Emily and Pen were equally reluctant to complete that assigned task. And my obligation ends at ordering the damned thing, so..."
"Please tell me that you all haven't roped Reid into cooking," JJ gasped, suddenly sitting straight in his lap.
"Nope," Dave shook his head, wrapping his hand around her hip as she shifted against him.
"Morgan?" JJ grimaced, remembering the bald man's propensity for burning water.
"Nuh uh," Dave denied again.
"You guys have conned Hotch into cooking?" JJ gasped in sheer shock.
"Not so much conned as threatened to turn the kit and caboodle over to Reid," Dave grinned, wriggling his eyebrows.
"Nice," JJ said evenly. "But how did Garcia manage to get everybody to agree?"
"Evidently Morgan's mom is spending the holiday with his sister and her family in Wyoming. Emily's mother's tenure at the Chinese embassy has been extended. Hotch's former sister-in-law is going to her husband's family's holiday dinner in New York. And, finally, since we're on call that week as backup for Bravo team, Reid won't be able to leave DC to go to Vegas and see his mom."
"So, in other words, we're going to be one big happy BAU family for Thanksgiving?" JJ queried lightly, settling against him once again as she breathed deeply, his welcome masculine scent surrounding her.
"Is that what you're calling our crew of social misfits these days?" Dave asked, stroking her hair. "A family?" he smirked.
"Uh huh. And guess who I've labeled as Papa Bear?" JJ invited, leaning up to whisper against his ear and nip his ear playfully.
"And as long as I have Goldilocks sleeping in my bed and Baby Bear slumbering nearby, I'm more than okay with that," Dave grinned wickedly, once again capturing her lips.
And he was.