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Thanks to Kricket Williams and Jane Graf for providing these holiday prompts for this story: Snowmen, mulled wine, and stockings with coal, faith, starlight and miracles.
Adjusting the bodice on her red satin and velvet nightgown over her lush curves, Penelope Garcia gave herself one last look in the reflection of the bathroom mirror, her critical eyes assessing her appearance with a practiced glance.
Not too shabby if she did say so herself, she thought to herself with a grin, lifting a hand to adjust the red felt Santa cap on her head, jauntily skewing it to the right. The ensemble ought to be enough to create a salivating Derek Morgan. Grabbing her glass of mulled wine from the bathroom sink, she took a slow sip, savoring the warm holiday treat on her tongue as she flipped off the light.
Walking down the short hallway toward the living room, she hummed an off tune rendition of Jingle Bell Rock under her breath. Pausing in the doorway to center her Frosty the Snowman snow globe on the entryway table, she sighed.
"Where in the name of Santa's reindeer are you, Handsome?" she grumbled under her breath, impatiently shifting the curtain to stare outside into the cold night. A starry sky winked down from above, casting the street in a shimmery glow. Smiling at the decorated walk-ups along her street, Pen shook her head. Norman Rockwell couldn't have painted a picture this pretty. No way, no day.
Thirty minutes later, thought, she was beginning to believe that Normal Rockwell took far less time to create those masterpieces than it was taking her sweetie to get his finely toned ass home. Her consumption of wine had proportionally increased with each passing minute, and she was giving serious consideration to sending out the National Guard in search of her missing hunk of burning love. Or, at the very least, hacking the traffic cams of the city and finding his vehicle amid the holiday chaos encompassing the city.
Tugging at the thin material of her gown, she twitched her lips as she muttered, "A girl plans and plans and plans, and still ends up out in the cold." Stomping through the living room for the eighth time in the last half hour, she stopped next to the side table as she glared down at her goldfish. "He's deserted us, Clyde."
Clyde the fish merely swam to the other side of the bowl, attempting to escape the brightly painted taloned nails that were tapping insistently at the side of his home.
"That's it, take his side," Penelope snorted as she rolled her eyes. Reaching out to adjust the strand of flashing Christmas lights that she had so carefully hung around Clyde's bowl, she jumped slightly as she caught a flash of light from the nearby window. Glancing down at the parking lot below, she easily recognized Derek's oversized truck slipping into place.
Better late than never, she told herself with a determined nod as she reached for the nearby warmed wine bottle, quickly refilling her glass and topping off the extra. Now, let the Christmas festivities begin!
Propping a hand on the curve of her hip and assuming a suggestively welcoming pose, she held her breath as she heard his key scraping the lock. Smiling widely as her front door opened, she beamed at her erstwhile lover. "Ho! Ho! Ho!" she greeted, lowering her voice huskily. "Did you have to hitch a ride on Santa's sleigh to get here? I was beginning to think the reindeer had staged a coup and bucked you somewhere over the Capitol," she purred sweetly.
"Baby Girl," Derek sighed, closing the door behind him, "It's a holiday miracle that I made it here at all. Those people out there are freaking insane," he added as he shuddered.
"The elves do tend to get a little rabid on Christmas Eve," Pen agreed with a shrug, her bare shoulders rising and falling in a delicate movement as her nose wrinkled.
"Rabid? Try psychotic," Derek grunted, finally taking a good look at his woman. Eyes widening as he took in the vivid red baby doll nightgown, he licked his lips as he appreciatively eyed the velvet bosom hugging her breasts. "Although, it looks to me like Santa already stopped here. He brought me everything I wanted for Christmas wrapped up in a bright pretty package. And, baby," he murmured as he smiled wickedly, rubbing his hands together eagerly, "you are one present that I can't wait to unwrap."
"Uh uh," Penelope denied, bracing a hand against his strong chest as his warm hands surrounded her hips, tugging her toward him. "Not until you tell me what the Christmas delay was," she ordered. "Seriously, I thought my Christmas miracle was about to ditch me for a tryst with Mrs. Claus!"
"Now, Mama, you know that you're the only Christmas angel I want topping my tree," Derek cajoled with a grin, his white teeth gleaming as his full lips tilted upwards.
"Hmmm." Penelope sniffed, her pert nose rising slightly. "Methinks you might have a little trouble getting your angel to cooperate."
"Really?" Derek challenged with a slow sexy smile, "Does it make a difference if I tell you that I was late because I wanted to come bearing a gift." He grinned, knowing full well his woman wasn't actually angry with him. If she had been, his credit would be ruined and his balls would be locked in a steel vice. No, Baby Girl was curious.
"A gift?" Garcia said brightly, her eyes sparkling now. "I might be willing to reconsider the multiple punishments I planned to inflict on you for keeping me waiting in return for a suitable offering."
"That's my girl." Derek winked, opening his leather jacket and slipping a hand into the inside pocket. "Generous to a fault. How 'bout you close those gorgeous eyes and sit that beautiful ass on the couch behind you?" he suggested, walking her backward toward the lime green sofa, his free hand gently guiding her.
"Oomph," Pen grunted when she felt the backs of her calves connect with the arm of the sofa and her handsome chunk of chocolate gently pushed her down, her bottom bouncing against the firm cushions.
Kneeling in front of her, Derek smiled as he gently took her hand in his, depositing a small wrapped present into the palm of her hand. "Okay, Sweetness, open those eyes," he directed softly, running his damp palms along his denim jeans.
Cocking her head, Penelope's smile widened as she stared down at the small box in her hand. "I already know this did not come from my pre-approved list," she murmured as she arched one brow. "The package is much too small."
"Sweetheart, you've never complained that any part of my package wasn't to your liking before," Derek teased, wriggling his eyebrows at her. "Besides, what's that saying? The best gifts come in tiny packages?"
"From a female perspective, that is sooooo not true, my love," Penelope giggled, leaning forward to press her lips against his.
Groaning against her ardent lips, Derek tore his mouth away. "Nuh uh." He shook his head. "Not yet. Open it, Penelope," he ordered, nodding down at the gift.
Tearing off the gold foil, Penelope's eyes narrowed on the black box she exposed. "D...," she breathed, lifting her surprised gaze to his.
"Keep going, Mama," he urged, settling his hands on her knees as he stared intently at her.
Breath coming in small gasps as her heartbeat thundered in her ears, Penelope's vision wavered as she cracked the lid on the small velvet box. "Oh my God," she said faintly, blinded by the brilliant diamond winking back at her. "Derek?" she gulped, lifting dazed eyes to him.
Reaching for the ring nestled in the box, Derek took Penelope's left hand in his. "Penelope Ann Garcia, would you do me the honor of being my wife?"
Blinking hard against the sting in her eyes as he waited for her answer, she struggled to draw air into her body. "A-are you sure, Hot Stuff?" she whispered, her throat suddenly tight as she tried to force out the words. "This is so fast. We've only been dating six months."
"Sweetness, officially it may have been six months, but this courtship has been going on about seven years by my count," he corrected with a slight smile, his finger rubbing her bare ring finger. "You're my heart, Baby Girl. You gave me hope when I'd lost it. You taught me how to have faith when I didn't even think it existed anymore. You're a miracle. My miracle. I love you. I want to spend the rest of my loving you. This isn't too fast, Penelope. This is years past due. Say yes," he whispered softly.
"Yes!" Penelope nodded quickly, his words telling her everything she already knew but needed to hear anyway. "God, yes!" she squealed as he slipped the stunning engagement ring on her finger, leaning forward to press her lips to his, positively giddy with the knowledge that he was hers. Now and forever.
Returning her kiss, Derek's heart lightened. No man was ever entirely certain his proposal wouldn't be rejected. Even knowing how much his angel loved him...how long she'd waited for him to pull his head out of his ass and see what he had standing right in front of him, he'd had his doubts. Not about what he wanted...but, rather, if he'd kept her waiting too long.
But his fears had been resolved. Her happy, wet kisses assured him that his dream had been hers the whole time.
And in a season filled with holiday miracles, he realized he'd been holding his all along.
A/N - What did you think of a Morgan/Garcia Christmas?