Author's Note:

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As always, thank you to every reader, reviewer, favoriter, and alerter that enjoys our stories. Hearing from each of you means a great deal. Now, on with our story!


Mischief Under the Mistletoe

Chapter Two

"Well, consider it a Christmas miracle and get over it," Dave ordered tersely, turning to point toward her glass. "And stay away from the spiked eggnog."

"You used to encourage me to misbehave," Erin reminisced, voice low, nodding at a group of agents as they passed, their smiling expressions informing her that she hadn't been the only imbibing from the special bowl that evening.

"That was before you tried to die on me. I've made a lot of revisions in our relationship, Babe. You didn't get the newest edits?" he asked sarcastically, crossing his arms over his chest.

Pursing her lips, Erin rolled her eyes. "You do realize that I'm well past the age of consent, don't you?"

Eyes darkening, Dave stared at the woman beside him as he took a step closer, backing her against the wall. "Are you trying to piss me off, Erin?"

Was she? At this point, she wasn't sure of anything other than the fact that his proximity to her might very well drive her insane. "David, may I remind you that I didn't want to come tonight. You insisted, and in the interest of our tentative truce, I decided to oblige your request. Between you and Amanda's bullying, I simply surrendered, but don't think that gives you any sort of say-so over my decisions..."

"Oh, will you remove the stick from your ass?" Rossi asked, torn between his irritation at her and the attraction he felt to her. Dressed in a form fitting red dress, she was a temptation he was only barely resisting. Over the last several weeks, he'd been forced more than once to reign in his libido. And this evening was proving to be no different...her biting retorts and flashing eyes only serving to make her more appealing. And while he was rational and self-aware enough to admit that she'd always been tempting, their recent reconciliation made him feel like a drowning man that had been allowed sight of dry land…he only wanted to swim faster.

"I beg your pardon," Erin seethed, her eyes narrowing as she felt her anger rising, overtaking her earlier attraction. Trust Rossi to destroy whatever happy moments they might be reaching for, she thought darkly, her fingers itching to grab the nearby cup and dump the contents over his over-inflated head.

"You heard me," Dave murmured, his own eyes twinkling as he stared back at her.

"I'm leaving," Erin said briskly, turning toward the door, deciding that retreat was the better part of valor in this situation.

Grinning as he watched her whirl away from him, her blonde hair flying behind her as she weaved her way through the crowded floor, he pursued her at a leisurely pace, enjoying the sway of her hips as she walked ahead of him. Waiting until she'd reached the BAU's threshold, he made his move, grabbing her arm in a gentle grip and spinning her around to face him. "Not so fast, Erin. Where's my gift?" he asked petulantly.

"What?" Erin sputtered, trying to find her balance in her rapidly spinning world.

"My. Gift," Dave said, enunciating each word clearly as he tugged Erin into the deserted hallway, backing her against the wall.

"I don't...I haven't..." she floundered, cheeks reddening at his blunt question.

"Now, don't fret," Dave chided, backing her down the wall into a shadowed corridor. "I already know what I want. I'll make it easy for you. After all, if you're willing to break the good doc's rules in one area, you won't mind skating in another, will you?"

"David, what in the world are you talking about?" Erin gasped as Rossi's hands found her hips and lightly pushed her into a darkened corner. Her eyes seemed to be glued to his as she found herself being pulled against him, her body willingly falling victim to the wonderful warmth he offered.

"If you haven't figured it out yet, I'm obviously not as good at this as I used to be," Dave chuckled, is body crowding hers. "I'm talking about my gift, Erin. And you're getting off cheap...All I'm asking you for is a kiss under the mistletoe. Run with it," he recommended against her cheek.

Reeling, Erin's eyes widened as Dave's head descended toward hers. "But there's no mistletoe," she protested breathlessly, clutching at the lapels of his jacket, her fingers sinking against the wool as she sought to hold tight to any solid surface.

Grabbing a leaf from the potted fern in the corner, Dave grinned. "We'll improvise," he winked before lowering his lips to hers. Groaning as her lips parted underneath his, Dave tangled his tongue with hers. Familiar feelings flooded him as he wrapped her in his embrace, deepening the kiss, wanting to draw it out. Even after years of heated antagonism followed by icy silences, he still recognized perfection when he touched it...and he and Erin had been magic together when it had been good. Touching her again only served as a reminder of that simple truth.

Forget the kiss, he wanted to take his gift home and finish unwrapping the entire package.

Sinking against him, Erin met her former lover's kiss head on, immersing herself in those long denied sensations only he could create within her. Tightening her arms around his neck to convince herself that this moment had finally arrived, she trembled in his arms.

Finally forcing himself to pull away, Dave leaned his chin against her soft hair as he kept his arms securely around her waist. "I've missed you," he admitted huskily, unable to release her entirely.

Unable to speak, Erin merely nodded against his strong shoulder. "I've missed you, too, David," she confided when she could form intelligent words again. Softening against him, she asked softly, "Do you believe in Christmas miracles?"

Smiling against her hair, Dave nodded. "I do," he replied deeply, sliding his hands up and down her back. "Especially since the angels just delivered mine."

And after twenty-five years of never allowing David Rossi to see her cry, Erin Strauss felt her control suddenly evaporate, the brick walls falling with a violence that shocked her as she sobbed against his neck.

For the pain they'd each endured, for the baby they'd lost...and for the new beginning they'd finally found together.

They'd come full circle.

The End.