Chapter 4

AN: Okay...I had to write the kiss. You know me...I love, love, love kisses (Who doesn't?)...Thanks for reading and reviewing... A warm mention to Kimd's Grandma and Ceeluv's Aunt, who had creative non-smoking ideas!...Next story, coming soon...Oh! And PS... I'm three weeks into quitting and still goin' strong...

That night, in true Morgan and Garcia fashion, they reentered the bar, did some of their famous dirty dancing—unlike their early days, no one but her was Derek's partner for dancing anymore—and drank a few more cocktails and beers before D drove her tipsy butt home. All in all, it had been a typical Friday night for them, except for the fighting that had happened...and the declarations of love...and the kiss.

Now, Derek was walking her through her courtyard to her door, and she was incredibly nervous. She knew deep down that he was anticipating more than her usual hug and kiss on the cheek that she'd given him for years now. That wasn't surprising; she wanted more, too.

However, another part of her had a niggling fear. He'd only been smoke free for a few hours; what if he started again?

For as long as Penelope had been his Baby Girl, she knew kissing Derek, or rather, being kissed by Derek, was going to change her entire life. She had a feeling that if she kissed him again, she would be so far gone, nothing else would matter. Maybe it was a silly thought, but she simply knew it, deep in her soul—kissing him like they were supposed to kiss would make this relationship real.

And then—if he lit up again—it would put her heart in an irreparable place.

She already loved him with all her heart and soul; however, solidifying their relationship past what they already had was not something she was willing to venture into easily. She'd waited years for this...she could wait a few more days to make sure he was committed. To not smoking, of course; she had no doubt he was committed to her.

Besides, she needed to give him some true motivation for quitting. The moment he was smoke free for at least a week, she would kiss him back with everything she'd ever had in her.

"Well, this is it," he drawled, with that sexy smile of his that made her insides flutter. He started to fold her into his arms, in a way he'd never done before...a slight command...

Her insides went from flutter to melty goo in a millisecond, and felt good...

Willpower, Garcie! she encouraged herself, turning so he'd kiss her cheek instead.

He paused for a second and arched a brow at her. "Baby?"

"Um..Hot Stuff," she began, squirming a bit.

"What's wrong?"

"Derek...before we take this any further..." She bit her bottom lip and looked up into his concerned brown eyes.

Both of his distinctive brows came down in a crease. "Sweetheart...what..."

Recognition entered his look, followed immediately by disappointment and irritation, and then he raised her to her feet again. "Oh. You want proof."

Saying it that way sounded terrible, like she didn't have faith in him. She did... She was just...guarded. "D, I'm sorry, I—"

"No, peaches," he said, putting his hand up to stop her talking. "You're absolutely right. A few hours of not smoking—even though I would've had two more tonight at least—isn't enough."

"Sweet Cheeks—"

"A few hours is nothing in the grand scheme of things," he said, shaking his head. "I am going to have to put the need to kiss you—hot, hard, and you've never been kissed before—on hold until I can prove I'm serious about this."

Her eyes widened, and her pulse started pounding again. "Derek, this...ummm...maybe..."

"Oh no," he protested. "I think you need at least a week before I plant these sweet chocolate lips on yours and take your equally sweet 'nilla breath away...and not because there's smoke there."

So he thought he could play that game with her, hmm? It wasn't going to work. She rolled her eyes. "Keep this up, and you are never kissing me."

He tugged her into his arms, against his hard chest, and smiled down at her wolfishly. "Hell, yes, I am..."

Her heart beat wildly as he dipped his head. To hell with waiting; she closed her eyes in anticipation...

He kissed her soundly on the cheek with a loud smacking noise. "In a week."

She opened her eyes, meeting his grin as he raised her back to her feet. That pissed her off. She sputtered and stomped her foot. "Derek Morgan, you—!"

"See you later, Baby Girl," he replied, as he turned and walked out of her courtyard with obvious determination.

Penelope stood there, frowning for a moment...and then smiled as she turned and walked into her apartment.

"See what I got?" Derek asked, sitting on the edge of her desk. He rolled up his sleeve and showed her his bicep. It was Wednesday, and she was getting her usual non-smoking campaign update from D. She'd spoken briefly with him over the weekend and had gotten a full report on Monday and Tuesday. So far, he was winning the battle.

She stared at what appeared to be a nicotine patch smack dab in the center of his tattoo. She teased, "Does the lion have an owie? Looks like a bandage on his nose."

"Very funny, silly girl. Cold turkey was killing me. This is a step down thing...supposed to make things easier."

"I thought you'd done a patch before?" Rossi asked. He was in Penelope's office, asking her to run some reports for an upcoming case.

"I did."

Rossi frowned at him. "You tried it. It obviously didn't work last time."

Derek smiled at Penelope and rolled down his sleeve. "This time, it will."

"Try gum," Rossi said. "When I quit years ago, I chewed Wrigley's Spearmint®. Did the trick for me."

"I had a friend who did it with cough drops," Prentiss added, coming into the already crowded office. "The cough drops were awful, too. They didn't trade one addiction for another that way."

Rossi quirked a brow. "How often do you see me chewing Wrigley's Spearmint®?"

"Sunflower seeds," JJ interjected, handing a file to Penelope as she squeezed into the office. "An uncle of mine tried many times and finally quit substituting sunflower seeds."

"Guys, I'll be fine...really," Derek added with a grin. "I'll do it on my own."

At those words, there was a dull roar of well meaning anti-smoking advice going around the office that lasted until Hotch poked his head around the corner.

"Here's where everyone went...except Reid, who is at his desk." He gave a business-like look around the room, before announcing, "Wheels up in forty-five."

People slowly started filing out of Penelope's office, knowing they'd gotten caught by the boss. Before Derek could leave, Hotch reached for his arm.

"Hey, man, I didn't—"

"Before you take on any layman's advice, go see your doctor," Hotch said. "Mine helped me years ago, just after I met Haley." He then clapped Derek on the shoulder with a nod and walked away.

Derek smiled and shook his head at his boss' retreating back.

Penelope stood and hugged him tightly. "Hurry back."

He held her close and kissed the top of her head. "You'll barely know I was gone."

The case ended up being longer than they had anticipated and far more difficult. One of the victims turned out to be a high profile missing child case that had received a lot of media attention. Derek had called her multiple times during the day, sounding so stressed, unhappy. She'd worried about him a lot.

"Hey, Hot Stuff," she said softly. "How are you holding up?"

"It's rough, but I'm okay."

"Really?" she questioned.

He sighed. "We're working around the clock, but so are you."

"Yeah, but I've got my cozy couch to relax on," she replied.

Derek chuckled. "I can picture you on that couch, all sexy curves, waiting for your man."

"You are okay, aren't you, sugar?"

"Baby, as long as I am talking to you...I'm all right."

She'd felt a lot better after talking to him, but still wanted to be there to make things better. She felt for her Hot Stuff, and she almost felt guilty, making him quit before one of the toughest cases they'd had in years. However, he'd insisted that he was ready, and nothing was going to stop him now.

She'd finally gotten the call from Hotch that they had the suspect in custody; however, the team would not be returning until tomorrow. Penelope felt disheartened; she was looking forward to seeing Derek and holding him tight. She knew he would need it after a case like this.

It was late, hours after Hotch had called her. She'd been so busy this week with her primary team, she'd forgotten completely about things Cooper had asked her to do for the Red Cell team. Since Derek wasn't going to be in, it seemed a good time to stay late.

Finishing up her work, she finally shut down her babies for the night, grabbed her purse, and headed towards the secured garage, where Esther was parked with the other tech analysts' cars. The elevator doors opened, and she glanced over at her car.

Leaning against Esther was Derek. His hands were in the pockets of his jeans, slung low on his hips like a cowboy. That always made her smile; Derek and the rest of the team were kind of like the "Old West," the new sheriffs in town. He wore a sexy smile that did funny things to her insides.

As she hurried toward him, he pushed himself off of her car and raised a brow. "What took you so long?"

Her heart was racing and her breath was coming faster as she saw the look on his face. "I thought you were coming home tomorrow?"

He shook his head just the slightest bit. "Hell, no. The team is coming home tomorrow. I drove like a banshee to get here."

With those words, her pulse skyrocketed and her knees shook, making her stop in her tracks. "Oh?"

His million watt, trademark smile shined again. "Did you expect anything less?"

Two more steps, and he was directly across from her. She could smell the spiciness of his cologne, the warmth of his sun kissed skin, and the clean scent of whatever soap or detergent he used on his clothes as he raised his hands to cup her face.

But she didn't smell even one particulate of tobacco smoke.

Ever so delicately, he traced her cheekbones, her chin, and her lips with his thumbs. As he caressed her, she felt herself melting into his hands. It was so familiar, and yet, nothing was the same.

"It's been a long week, Penelope," he murmured low in his throat, "and damn, girl, how I've missed you."

She didn't get a chance to respond. He slid his hand behind her neck and drew her closer to him, brushing her lips with his. Clean, soft, delicious lips brushed and played with hers as she felt ripples of lightening flow through her body. Her blood turned electric, and then sluiced through her veins like molten lava, slow and sensuous.

Instinctively, she parted her lips, craving more of the feeling, more of his taste, more of everything. She heard his low growl of satisfaction, before he folded her into his arms and deepened the kiss.

What felt like lightening before was now a tempest of feeling. Never had she ever felt so wanted. He devoured her like a starving man and she was his only available meal. She clung to him, offering herself up to his demanding kisses, while taking and demanding in return. She gripped his smooth head in her hands, tugging him closer, her leg wrapping around his.

She moaned as she felt his hands cup her bottom, lifting her off her feet, allowing him better access to pillage her mouth and mold her body to his. God, she—

Loud wolf-whistles, along with a honking of a car horn, caused them to break apart. Derek enveloped her in his arms, holding her close to his chest and away from scrutiny. She couldn't see a thing anyway; her glasses were fogged from the steam they'd created.

When her glasses cleared, she peaked around his bicep and saw Mindy and Sari, two fellow techs, giving her the thumb's up. She giggled; she would've done the same thing if she were in their shoes!

"Wow," she said, looking up at him.

"I should apologize for getting carried away in front of everyone, but I'm not going to," he began, his dark and sultry eyes still smoldering. "I would never apologize for something that awesome."

She smiled back at him. "I wouldn't, either."

"I missed you, baby."

She gave him a squeeze. "I missed you, too…and it was worth the wait."

"I'm glad." Derek looped his arm around her shoulder, kissed the top of her head, and then opened her car door. "Come on, sweetheart. Drive me home."

"Among other places…" she teased, sliding into her car. She heard his laugh as he shut her door. She smiled to herself, knowing that this was a good start: for both him and them.