Author's Note: Signups are underway on "Chit Chat on Author's Corner" forum for the Criminal Minds Christmas Gift Fic Exchange through 10/31/11. For anyone that has time to participate, swing by and take a look. Simply tell us what pairings you are willing to write, which pairings you WON'T write, whether your write slash or not, the pairing you'd like to RECEIVE as a gift, and one Christmas carol prompt and three Christmas/Holiday theme prompts. For example: Silent Night (carol), reindeer, Christmas tree, blue holiday lights. For anyone that has any questions, simply PM me.
The final VOTING ballot will be released shortly for the second annual Criminal Minds Profiler's Choice Awards will also be up at the forum shortly. We are excited to get this final vote underway.
Also, don't forget to join us over at Facebook. We've got a wonderful community of authors and readers alike waiting to engage in stimulating conversation. Simply friend "Ilovetvalot Fanfiction" or "Tonnie Fanfiction". We can't wait to hear from you!
Author's Note 2: This is the second story in the JJ/Rossi Trilogy. It is meant to be a bridge from one story to the next. The first story was called, "In Plain Sight".
Prompt: ER - "Of Past Regret and Future Fear"
JJ fingered the cool metal key between her fingertips, staring at it, but not really seeing it.
No, what she saw instead was the darkly handsome and definitely forbidden face of the owner of said key. Finally focusing her gaze on the seemingly innocent piece of metal, JJ shook her head. While the object itself might have be harmless, the implication of its existence in her palm was anything but innocuous.
It had been a week since their interlude in the bar. A week of heated stares and "accidental" touches. And each one drove her to the brink of insanity. A little less than seven days ago, David Rossi's expert touch had turned into her narcotic of choice in just a few stolen minutes. Now, every brush of his fingers fired a craving deep in her core. And she suspected the bastard knew it.
She wasn't ready for this. Any kind of relationship with a man well known for his short attention span would be considered risky and dangerous to even the most adventurous woman. And she was anything but that.
Quite the opposite. Being burned by an erstwhile man is what had pushed her into this funk. Why the hell was she even contemplating the possibility of exploring a deeper relationship with Rossi?
Of course, her answer lay in the memory of his lips molding hers against his...the feel of his capable, strong hands caressing her hidden secrets, bringing her a release that still had the ability to send her pulse skyrocketing by merely thinking about it. But those sensations, while mind numbingly pleasurable, were still temporary...transient.
And didn't she need to focus her attention on someone that offered more stability than a thrice married workaholic?
But every time she searched for options, begging her stubborn mind to remain open to the possibilities that seemed to be all around her, she couldn't seem to turn loose of the vision that had taken up permanent residence in her mind. David Rossi had made an indelible impression in her psyche, the likes of which had never before been seen in the simple life that had been Jennifer Jareau's prior to now.
And now that she stared down at the key again, she realized that simplicity was no longer a possibility. Complications ruled the day. Was she truly contemplating turning her well-order life upside down in order to experience another mind-blowing encounter with the man that put the capital T in Trouble?
But, then, maybe there was something to be said for capitalizing on an opportunity.
As her fingers flicked the brass-colored key once again, she realized that she was indeed willing to do just that. She wanted him, pure and simple. And he had made it clearly obvious that he wanted her. And they could find their way through the jumbled maze of the physical to develop some sort of emotional response, couldn't they?
Drawing in a deep breath, JJ took the few tentative steps up the short sidewalk that would lead her to the wooden door….and to the lock that was currently separating her and the man that had managed to set her world on fire.
Hand trembling lightly as she slid the metal into the lock, JJ stilled for an instant. Squeezing her eyes closed, she realized that one relatively simple flick of her wrist would forever alter the course of her life. For a heartbeat, she hesitated, her past failures rising to the forefront of her mind to taunt her. She quickly tamped them down, however, reminding herself that she was a woman with needs, needs that David Rossi was more than prepared to fill.
Hadn't she prepared for this night for over a week? She'd made arrangements for Henry to spend a wonderfully wacky weekend with his godparents, each guardian ready, willing and able to spend two days coddling and spoiling their little godson. She was shaved, waxed and groomed in every place conceivable. She was ready for this. Ready for him.
Lifting her chin determinedly, she twisted the key in the lock, opening the front door of the darkened house. Looking around the dim interior, she opted to keep the lights off. Dropping her purse and keys carelessly on a wingback chair as she moved into the room, she wondered how far behind her Rossi actually was. When she'd left, he'd been immersed in deep conversation with Hotch discussing his plans for a weekend filled with nothing more than his dog and his rifle.
Smiling slightly as she kicked off one black heel, she wondered how much he'd mind the unscheduled change to his plans. If the smoky gaze she'd felt lingering on her this afternoon had been any indication, she hoped this would be the answer to both their prayers. Kicking off the other heel, it fell with a dull thud against the piled carpet. Remembering the way he'd smiled at her just this morning, that knowing tilt of his lips confirming his ongoing interest, JJ shivered, dropping her suit coat on the floor as she took another step toward the bedroom.
Perhaps a trail of clothing would say what her words couldn't. Like breadcrumbs, she left her shoes, shirt, skirt, and finally her bra scattered behind her, a trail for him to follow if he chose.
Pausing outside his closed bedroom door, JJ glanced down at the brief lace panties she still wore. She made her final decision quickly, shimmying out of the intimate garment before pushing open the door. There was no going back now, she thought, walking naked toward the comfortable looking king size bed. Nude, she crawled atop the soft grey comforter covering the mattress and settled on her back, her heart pounding in her ears.
"You're in it now, Jareau. For better or worse, you made a choice," she whispered to herself.
Damning doubt and insecurity to the depths of her mind, JJ closed her eyes, her ears attuned to the sounds around her.
Long and slow minutes later, the crunch of gravel outside the bedroom window heralded his arrival, and she stiffened slightly as the cool air from the overhead vent washed over her body.
"Relax, JJ," she coached herself as she adjusted a pillow behind her back. "Past relationship failures don't define what you could have here. Fear is normal. But letting fear cloud your decision now allows Will to win. And if there's one thing you can be sure about, it's that David Rossi and William LaMontagne are polar opposites."
And that very real certainty is what kept her now open eyes glued to the bedroom door...waiting.
Waiting for him.