Author's Note: Hello Readers! We would like to encourage each reader and author alike to participate in nominating their favorite fics and authors for the second annual "Profiler's Choice CM Awards 2011!" The nomination ballot, rules and category summaries can each be found at "Chit Chat on Author's Corner" Forum. To reach that post, please either take a trip to the forum itself OR links are provided on the profile pages of ilovetvalot, tonnie2001969, OR Profiler's Choice CM Awards. Nomination ballots should be pm'd to Profiler's Choice CM Awards ONLY. That link is also provided on the forum or through the profile pages listed above. We look forward to hearing from each of you!

In order to get the word out to as many as possible, we ask you, our fellow authors and readers, to let others know of this exciting opportunity. Whether by author's notes or Facebook, please let everyone know that the awards season has begun.

Also, the NEW challenge sign-ups for Chit Chat's October Challenge have began! "The Masquerade Challenge" is available now and we'd love to see each of you participate. For our Halloween challenge, participants will be able to choose THEIR OWN PAIRING and will be assigned a Halloween prompt to write. For example if you chose to write Morgan Garcia, you might be assigned the prompt "Godzilla". Maybe Morgan shows up at Garcia's apartment to help her hand out candy dressed as Godzilla or, perhaps, they spend Halloween night happily sequestered in her apartment watching a Godzilla marathon. The ideas are endless! So, come on over and take a look!

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As ever, we appreciate every single one of you that takes the time to read and/or review our stories. Your valuable feedback is deeply appreciated and we love hearing from you!

And, if we haven't stated it before, we do not own Criminal Minds, but darn, we wish we did!


The Blame Game

Chapter Three

"Strauss?" Hotch moaned loudly, taking the little box from Dave's palm, his gaze drawn unwillingly to the object.

"Strauss." Dave bobbed his head eagerly as he leaned forward, wanting the best view possible for this newest offering. "O-pen it," he begged, almost childishly while he craned his head over the basket.

Cracking the tin hesitantly, Hotch's head tilted almost comically as he viewed the contents."It's an appointment card," he muttered, giving Dave a questioning glance.

"Huh?" Dave grunted as Hotch flipped over the card and his friend's face turned an interesting shade of purple.

"TO HER CHIROPRACTOR!" Aaron's aggrieved voice boomed as his scowl deepened.

"Gimmee that!" Dave said, frankly disbelieving as he took the small white card from Hotch's slack hand. "I'll be damned," he drawled as he examined the writing. "Satan still has a sense of humor after all these years!"

"Oh, shut up," Hotch growled, his body vibrating with pain and tension as he stared down at his now cluttered desk, the remnants of his so-called friend's so-called gifts everywhere. "This is all your fault anyway! I told you that we needed to crash that shower."

"You're just not gonna stop until you win the blame game, are you?" Dave chortled, eyeing the staid Aaron Hotchner's mottled face with no small amount of amusement...or regret.

"So," a sweet, feminine voice queried from Aaron Hotchner's open doorway, "Is this a private party, boys? Or can anyone join?"

"JJ!" Hotch yelped, grabbing the basket and sweeping the incriminating contents off his desk in one smooth motion, yelping "OUCH!" as he moved, his back reminding him of far more than his love for his fiancée. Biting his lip as his eyes clouded with pain, he forced himself to smile at his beautiful partner as she stepped into the office. "What are you doing here, Sweetheart?" he choked even as Dave's laughter filled his ears.

"Well...," JJ smiled, fingering the sash on her simple chic trench coat, "It's noon. I think you said last night that we had an appointment at noon today. Remember?" she said with a seductive smile aimed in her beloved's direction.

"Oh, he did, did he?" Dave grinned widely, looking from Aaron's shocked face to JJ's expectant countenance. "Isn't that interesting," he commented, his voice deliberately bland. "We all know how Aaron feels about keeping his appointments, don't we?" Dave drawled, a malevolent gleam in his dark eyes.

When, Aaron's mind screamed, had he promised her THAT? His agile mind fished for the moment and found it almost at once. Oh, yeah, it had been between that little trick she'd pulled with the ice cube and wrapping one of his silk ties around his...

Oh, hell, he had made her that promise...and many more, he thought with another inner cringe.

"Don't we, Aaron?" Dave prodded again, mentally rubbing his hands together evilly as Hotch's apprehensive eyes collided with his. Honestly, it was like shooting fish in a barrel, Dave thought with unmitigated glee.

"I...oh...yes, of course," Hotch gulped as he felt JJ's heated eyes on him.

"Well, that's my cue, I guess," Dave grinned, wriggling his eyebrows again as he pushed up out of his chair. Turning, he gently patted JJ's arm as he made his voice serious. "Now, be gentle with him, JJ," he offered sternly. "The big bad boss is fragile today," he crowed, kissing her cheek before walking out the door, closing it with a flourish.

Staring after his turncoat of a best friend, Aaron reminded himself to begin searching for a replacement immediately before turning his eyes back to his future wife. "Sweetheart, I don't think..."

"No," JJ shook her head, her long silky locks skimming her shoulders, "Nuh uh. You promised me a nooner, Aaron," she declared, her lips forming a pretty pout as she eyed him hungrily.

Gulping, Aaron stared back into her gorgeous eyes, wincing at the obvious plans he saw mirrored in her gaze. "Honey," he started as he shook his head, "I'm afraid we're going to have to decommission my penis from duty due to hardship issues," he stated gently.

"No pun intended?" JJ smirked, eyeing him with pleasure, raking him from head to toe. "Trust me, I don't think hardship is gonna be an issue," she continued, toying with her belt again as she looked at him through lowered lashes.

"JJ," Hotch warned, beginning to sweat as she tossed her hair over her shoulder, "A man can only handle so much at a given time..."

"Well, since I'm busy at the moment handling being pregnant with our child, so in return, you need to handle me. Preferably from behind," she stated boldly as she winked.

"Honey, Little Aaron can't come out and play today. He fell off the monkey bars at recess last night," Hotch groaned, rubbing a hand over his face as he tried to take a deep breath.

Taking a step back, JJ huffed, "Fine. But you at least have to take a little peek at the other gift Garcia gave me yesterday," she continued, slowly pulling the knot in her belt and sliding her trench coat off her shoulders to pool at her feet.

"Oh, Sweet God," Hotch murmured, his mouth going dry as he looked at JJ's amazingly perfect body. Last night Garcia's gift to his fiancée had threatened to maim him. But today, the wily technical analyst seemed to be determined to deliver him a heart attack. Feeling his groin stirring to life, he gaped.

Standing in front of his office, hands propped on her still slim hips, JJ smiled wickedly. "Well?" she probed, pivoting on her toes to offer him a panoramic view. "What do you think?" she asked curiously, slightly amazed that he had remained silent for the last thirty seconds.

Blinking as he drank in the sight of the fiery, tempting vixen in front of him, he shook his head. Clad in a black lace teddy with matching silk stockings and garters, she was a fantastic vision to behold. And that sinful smile she wore only enhanced the overall effect. "There are no words," he said hoarsely, his eyes glued to the plunging neckline of her sexy outfit that seemed to blaze a trail to treasures he so dearly wanted to find again.

"She really outdid herself, didn't she? She even suggested a naughty position for us to try," JJ whispered with a lust filled look at him, her lips curling ever so slightly. "I think she called it The Cat."

His blood chilled at that little proclamation. Oh, yes, their coworker had indeed outdone herself…and outsmarted him. Again.

"So..." JJ smiled as she retrieved her coat from the floor and slipped it back over her body, "Are you coming home for lunch with me or not?"

Swallowing hard, Hotch slowly nodded. "Of course," he said with a smile, serendipitously sliding the Ben Gay from the basket by his feet into his pocket. "Lead the way," he murmured as he grinned, rising with no small amount of trouble and hobbling after his excited future bride.

Evidently, the blame game would have to wait. But then again, who was he really kidding? Penelope Garcia had already stacked the deck…and he was certain that her skills would result in him and JJ drawing aces for the rest of his life.

Finis