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Kiss Me or Kiss Me Not?
The first time he kissed her, she was three sheets to the wind and well on her way to being sloshed. And if he was entirely truthful, he did not kiss her.
She kissed him.
Wet and sloppy and with aim that had been slightly off target. But she'd gotten the job done. She'd offered him a taste of heaven that he'd never been able to forget.
Then, she'd done something else he wouldn't forget. She'd punched him.
Not for kissing her...but for not kissing her back.
"Are you gonna kiss me or not, Rossi?" she'd slurred drunkenly, teetering on her three inch heels in the corner of the little hotel bar they'd landed in after the end of a long case. If her glazed over eyes were any indication, she was obviously well on her way to enjoying a hell of a hangover the next morning.
His arms had shot out to keep her from falling. It had been the gentlemanly thing to do, after all. Allowing your inebriated colleague to land ass over teakettle against the juke box would have been poor form. And his mother, sainted as she might be, would have never forgiven him for not helping a damsel in distress. It had nothing to do at all with the fact that his hands had itched to wrap around her shapely body from the moment he'd laid eyes on her. No, it had been strictly for her own safety.
At least that's what he'd told himself then. Self-delusion was an art form, after all, and he was a master at the craft.
"Well?" her agitated voice had prodded, her nose wrinkling delicately in the shadowed corner as she peered hazily up at him. The music had pounded around them, seeming to provide a soundtrack to what was obviously some stranger-than-fiction version of a romance novel gone wrong.
"No." Simple and direct had seemed like his safest bet at the time. He wasn't a dumb man, after all.
"Seriously?" she'd snorted, her feminine voice aggrieved as she'd cocked her head and stared at him.
"Seriously," he had nodded somberly. Damn his parents. Silently cursing his father and the lessons the elder Rossi had instilled in him over never taking advantage of a weakened woman, he'd met her glittering eyes.
"Kiss me," she'd ordered determinedly, squeezing her eyes closed and thrusting her puckered lips up at him.
Laughing had been a mistake. He could see that clearly in hindsight. But between the two scotches he'd partaken in himself and the hilarity of her pose, resisting the chuckle that had bubbled in his throat had been impossible.
He was only a man, after all. If she'd wanted a robot, she should have made her moves on Reid. But then, he realized if she'd done that very thing, he'd have been forced to kill the kid and tell God he died of natural causes.
Cracking one eye as his chuckles had invaded her liquor induced haze, she'd glared at him. "Are you gonna kiss me or not?"
"Not, honey," he'd replied, not bothering to hide the grin on his face as he arched one brow. "Definitely not," he'd added as he'd shaken his head when she had pressed her body closer to his and he prayed for strength he wasn't sure he possessed.
The Catholic church definitely didn't have a prayer or a saint to cover this circumstance, of that he was certain.
"You're about to miss your shot," she sing-songed, looping her arms around his neck as her pert breasts rubbed his solid chest.
His willpower had been rapidly diminishing, especially when her warm breath had fanned his neck. But he was nothing if not a man with convictions. And taking advantage of a beautiful co-worker was a line that not even he would cross. "You'll thank me later," he whispered against her delicate ear.
"Maybe," she'd smiled dreamily, pressing her lips to his, "but I doubt it," she added, landing a heavy punch to his midsection and stealing his breath.
And his heart.
Now, as he stood there in front of the minister and a congregation of their family and friends and stared into her clear blue eyes, he smiled. Happily. They'd finally come full circle. And he fully intended on traveling this particular circuit with her for the rest of their lives.
"You may kiss the bride," the man of God intoned formally, heralding the end of the wedding service.
Finally. After three months of being subjected to Penelope Garcia's manic wedding planning nonsense, he had earned this moment. He was going to savor every single second of this moment.
His hands trembled as they reached for the lace veil shielding her glowing face. And this time, she stole his breath for an altogether different reason. Of course, she'd been in possession of his heart all along.
Some things were just a given.
"So, Mrs. Rossi," he murmured as he dipped his head, whispering for her ears alone, "Are you gonna kiss me or not?"
Nodding, Jennifer Jareau Rossi's eyes filled with tears. "I'm certainly not gonna miss my shot," she whispered huskily, rising on her tip toes to graze her lips against his.
And damn if she didn't steal his breath all over again.