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.

Thank you to everyone taking the time to vote and advertise for us. We appreciate each and every one of you. The responses are starting to roll in and we have a tight race running in several categories. Let your opinion be heard. It is not necessary to vote in EVERY category. If you only read certain pairings, feel free to only vote in those areas. The important thing is to vote.

Free one-shots to the next five people to cast their votes...any pairing and three prompts of your choosing (I'll use two!). Let's all get on the ball and have some fun!

Second, we also have great new interviews with several of our nominees. Today, we are "getting to know" specerfan109. More interviews are coming soon!

And we just want to take an extra moment to let our readers know how much we enjoy hearing from them, so please, take a second and shoot us a private message or review. We'd love to hear from you!

Stitches in Time

Chapter One

Cursing as his awkward fingers missed another stitch, Dave Rossi's jaw tightened as he focused on the yarn gripped tightly in his left hand. How the hell had his nonna done this for years and not gone insane? Better yet, how had she appeared to enjoy it?

Shaking his head ruefully as he concentrated on making his right hand move to loop the string around the skinny needle, and missing again, he could see why the physical therapist had recommended this activity. It was certainly giving his coordination the workout it needed...and proving to him in the process that he might just never be able to recover the entire usage of his fingers.

But he only needed his trigger finger to work, right? Grimly, he tightened his lips, focusing intently to make his fingers pull off the intricate maneuver he needed.

He had to do this. It was imperative that he accomplish these stitches. Just visualize it, Dave, he coached himself as he stared down at the yarn in his hand. Make the stitch. He tried to channel his grandmother, to find just the right rhythm that she had possessed.

But it didn't work.

Cursing as the right hand holding the needle missed again, he threw down the yarn and metal needle violently. Breathing deeply, he dropped his head back against the recliner and closed his eyes. To say he was frustrated would have been an understatement.

He had passed frustrated a full hour ago.

Fucking pissed was more like it now.

How the hell had one damned mini-stroke managed to alter his abilities to such an extent? One tiny blood vessel popping in his brain had wreaked chaos and destruction in his life in ways he had yet to understand.

And because of his stubborn pride, he was determined to handle it. Alone.

At least that's the way he hoped he could keep it. Looking down at Mudgie, stretched out at his feet, he pointed sternly at the resting dog. "Not a word this afternoon, Mudge."

He chose to take the dog's answering whimper as agreement to his plan. There was no way in hell he wanted his afternoon guest to get wind of his current challenge. He had worked entirely too hard to maintain a fa├žade, and he intended to keep his cover story intact.

Jennifer Jareau was a lot of things. Talented. Capable. Beautiful. But, when she felt like one of her team was suffering, she could also be a bigger blabbermouth than their exuberant technical analyst, Penelope Garcia.

So, he informed himself once again, silence would indeed be golden in this very moment.

And, as if his thoughts could conjure the woman herself, he heard the crunch of gravel in the driveway outside. Glancing at the clock, he realized that time had drifted away from him. Shoving the yarn and needle in the basket at his feet, he hurriedly kicked it under the couch, mentally cursing her promptness. Evidently, JJ had meant it when she said she needed those case files from the Bennett case signed immediately.

With any luck, he thought, steadying himself against the arm of the couch, he could have her in and out of here in ten minutes, and his current disabilities would remain undiscovered by her and the rest of their team. Sighing heavily as his left leg protested the weight he attempted to put on it, he silently railed against his new weaknesses.

At least his speech was no longer slurred...although, that probably would've been easier to explain away. His penchant for the occasional bottle of good scotch was well known. But instead, now his weak left side threatened to give away the game.

Wincing as he heard the peel of his doorbell, he pointed at Mudgie, now alert, ears perked in interest. "Behave," he ordered sternly, mentally questioning himself about his desire to involve his dog in his schemes.

Answering the door a moment later, Dave's eyes narrowed as he greeted an out of sorts JJ. Dressed in a pastel pink suit, not her usual look at all, his brows drew together. "JJ...any particular reason you're masquerading as a cone of cotton candy?" he asked, his lips twitching in amusement.

"Not a word," she grumbled, striding past him into his foyer and smacking his chest with a file. "Strauss has decided that the female media liaisons needed a more feminine presentation, hence the outfit," she said, gesturing down at the tailored suit. "And the color," she muttered, her eyes narrowing in displeasure. "It's bad, isn't it?" she grimaced, looking up at him.

A stroke hadn't influenced his body's ability to indicate interest, and he couldn't resist the wicked grin that formed on his lips. "Well," he drawled, his eyes traveling down her body to the luscious curves accented by the suit's fit, "Cotton candy was always one of my favorite sweet treats."

"I should've known better than to ask you that question," JJ snorted, rolling her eyes at his theatrics. "A month's leave hasn't cooled that libido at all, has it? How's the book coming?"

Ah, his cover story was still intact, he thought with a grim sense of satisfaction. "Oh, it's crawling along," he murmured vaguely, waving his right hand in the air.

Lips pursing at his evasive answer, JJ cocked her head. "So, how much longer do you plan to hide out here in your mansion on the mount? Honestly," she said, looking around at her surroundings, "How you get away with calling this place a cabin, I'll never know."

"Hopefully, not too much longer," Dave answered her first question, wishing he had a concrete answer to give her. At the rate he was going, he wasn't sure he'd ever pass the physical to get back to the Bureau, let alone the firing range requirements. Gesturing toward the formal living room, he murmured, "So you brought me some files that require my signature?"

Now, if he could just get Jennifer Jareau in and out of his home in record time, he would be set.

If only it had been that easy!