Author's Note: Hello, wonderful readers. At any rate, 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: b-mystique, Nagen66, Monkeywand, and Hidge. More interviews are coming soon!

Many thanks to everyone still reading these stories. We really appreciate you. Now, on with the show!

If You're Not Here With Me

Chapter Five

Eyes widening at his sudden movement, Emily caught her breath as his mouth met hers unexpectedly. Not that she hadn't fantasized about this very kiss...many, many times. Any red-blooded woman that knew anything about David Rossi had wondered at least once what it would feel like to experience his kiss. And she was no different.

And now that she was here, in this moment, she wouldn't have missed it for the world.

She wasn't sure how long his lips caressed hers. All she could concentrate on was the incredible sensation of his mouth moving over hers, his tongue tenderly dueling with her own. And in her estimation, it didn't last nearly long enough, ending as abruptly as it had begun. Staring into his eyes as he pulled away, Emily swallowed. She knew her cheeks were flushed. She could feel the heat radiating from her cheeks.

"You had a chocolate mustache. I couldn't resist," Dave said huskily, settling back into his seat, his heart beating a tad more rapid than he had expected.

"That's a rather distinctive method you have for removing it," Emily replied, her voice somewhat breathless as she pressed her fingers to her lips. "Most people would have used a napkin."

"I'm an opportunistic bastard," Dave chuckled, brushing a strand of wayward hair from her face, letting his fingers linger against her warm cheek. "Something else you should have learned by now," he winked. "Besides," he grinned, pointing toward the ceiling fan above the table, "I'm covered."

Following the direction of his pointing finger, Emily couldn't help laughing at the strand of mistletoe hanging from above. "This place has GOT to be owned by newlyweds," she muttered, a smile starting to play on her lips.

"Not necessarily. I could picture an elderly couple living here," Dave replied, glancing around, his eyes taking in all of the surroundings. "It's way to homey for just married"

"You'd know," Emily quipped, her eyes twinkling as she propped her elbows on the table and dropped her chin to her cupped hands . "How many times have you been a newlywed again?"

"Smartass," Dave sniffed, his warm tone belying the word. "I'll have you know I only count two of those as actually marriages."

"That's right," Emily drawled. "You annulled the one to the showgirl you married in Vegas, didn't you?"

"I could still kill Hotch for letting me get that drunk," Dave grumbled, rolling his eyes.

"I don't think stopping your matrimonial plans fell under his job description," Emily said, cocking her head.

"No, but I've now added a clause to our friendship. Never allow me to say 'I do' while under the influence of tequila," he quoted dryly as he leaned back in his chair.

"Only you would need a friendship contract," Emily sighed. "I vaguely remember Hotch telling me that you went off all liquor except scotch after that little debacle. And women, too, if memory serves."

"Aaron has a big mouth," Dave complained. "I didn't go off all women...just the questionable ones...primarily ones that wore tassels and sequins," he clarified.

"That must have been one hell of a night," Emily shook her head, reaching for her sandwich once again.

"You don't know the half of it," Dave grinned. "Hotch left out the part where he got propositioned by the transvestite performer that night. She...he...whatever...served as a witness at the wedding. There are pictures to prove it."

"I don't think I want to know," Emily said, holding up a hand, the pictures that scenario put in her mind shocking her.

"Trust me, you don't," Dave said, wriggling his eyebrows.

"You, David Rossi, have led quite the colorful life," Emily noted. "No wonder my mother prays that I'll steer clear of you. However would she explain you to all her society friends?"

"Ah, but wouldn't you like to watch her try?" Dave snickered, his eyes gleaming mischievously. Holding his arms out wide, he asked with a grin, "Wouldn't I just make the perfect Christmas gift?"

"You'd definitely make an impression," Emily laughed quietly, unable to resist him wearing a large bow on his head. "An undeniable impression."

"I'm going to take that as a compliment," Dave informed her with eyes that glinted.

"As it was meant," Emily declared magnanimously.

Glancing at the clock on the yellow wall of the kitchen, Emily blinked. Nine o'clock? Was that even possible? Nodding toward the clock, Emily sighed. "Three hours to Christmas."

Turning to look over his shoulder at the clock over the stove, Dave nodded. "So it is."

"I'm really sorry you're going to miss Christmas with your family, Dave," Emily said softly, truly meaning every word.

"You know," Dave said evenly, "This might not be what I had planned, Em, but I'm having a pretty good time right here."

"Seriously? We've taken over someone else's the middle of nowhere...during a snowstorm..."

"Emily," Dave interrupted, covering her hand with his and squeezing gently, "I have good food and even better company...I'm relaxed for the first time in longer than I want to think about...and that's because of you. Nobody could have given me a better Christmas gift than that."

"Well, I must admit, that I have no doubt I'd rather be here than the embassy," she grinned, linking her fingers with his. "So, I'm pretty happy myself."

Nodding his satisfaction, Dave pulled Emily out of her chair. "I spied a copy of It's A Wonderful Life in the living room. Care to watch it with me?"

"Actually, that sounds wonderful," Emily agreed, allowing him to tug her against him, leaning her head against his shoulder for a moment.

"Merry Christmas, Agent Prentiss," Dave grinned down at her.

"Merry Christmas to you, too, Dave," Emily whispered back.

And it was...a very merry Christmas for them all. Because as it happened, Santa had decided to fill one Emily Prentiss' stocking to the brim with something she'd never really realized she wanted. One larger-than-life David Rossi.

And that was definitely one gift she had no plans of returning.