Author's Note: Oh, so many exciting tidbits to share with all of you today! First, who doesn't like a chance to win free stuff? I know I do! And that's what Chit Chat on Author's Corner forum's new "Pay It Forward Review Incentive Program" is ALL about! Reviewers get the chance to win an Amazon Gift Card for themselves AND an author for a story that they review! Cool, huh? Details can be found at the forum thread! Please, check it out! April will have TWO drawings…that's a total of four giftcards up for grabs, folks! This month the thread is focusing on ANY story in which HOTCH is a primary character! It's DEFINITELY worth a look. VERY FEW HAVE PARTICIPATED THUS FAR, BUT WE HOPE YOU WILL ALL TAKE A LOOK AT SOME POINT!
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As always, we appreciate everyone that continues to read, review and favorite our stories. It's a pleasure to write for you. Thanks for being so awesome to us!
This story is dedicated to Kricket Williams, one of our reigning Morgan/Garcia queens!
She's Having My Baby
There were certain words in the history of mankind that had never boded well for the male species. It was just a simple fact of life that most men accepted from the time they hit puberty.
Some rules were innately simple.
Always put the seat down. Never criticize your woman's cooking if you ever wanted to eat again. And when your lady love asks if her ass looks fat, the appropriate answer was always, every single time, "No!", even if it looked like two wild hogs were trying to mate underneath that lycra skirt she wore.
Derek Morgan had become amazingly adept at dodging the perilous pitfalls of romance since he'd finally given in to himself and admitted how he felt for the woman that would forever be 'Baby Girl' in his heart. Hell, truth be told, he'd become downright boring.
After every case, he rushed home to her. If he had a single free moment, it was dedicated to demonstrating, in great detail, exactly how he felt for the redheaded whirlwind. She'd snagged him, hook, line and sinker. And there was no chance in hell he was gonna be gutting the line with her.
That wasn't to say that there weren't quagmires hidden throughout paradise, just waiting for him to plant his foot in the life sucking quicksand. But, not to blow his own horn or anything, he was getting pretty good at stepping over those little landmines. Plus, he'd learned the warning signs of impending fury.
If Mama ev-ver turned the word 'hell' into a two syllable word, it was time to make tracks and beat feet. If those sexy stilettos ever started tapping the floor at breakneck speed, it was sure as hell time to get out of her way before she caught you with one…right up the ass. And if those breathtaking baby blues of hers ever glowed when he wasn't between her legs…find a priest…fast.
These were just a few of the cautionary tales he'd gathered after choosing to embark on a life with the natural beauty that had snagged his heart.
It should have been simple, right? After all, they'd already danced around each other for years. They'd jumped through all the proverbial hoops to be with each other. It was time for smooth sailing, wasn't it?
Well, wasn't it?
He could have sworn it was….right up until he heard those words that will wither a man's balls right there in their sacs.
"Derek, we need to talk."
Hell, they'd been talking for years. It shouldn't have sounded like such a challenge now, right?
Staring into those stormy orbs of hers, however, Derek felt his gut tighten. Whatever had put that look in her eyes, it was BAD. "Mama?" he asked, muting the television quickly. Who the fuck cared if the Lakers were up by six when his woman looked like that?
Some things were far more important than the NBA.
"Oh, God, D," Pen whispered, her voice trembling, "Don't call me that. Not right now!". She shook her head, closing her eyes for a moment.
Now, not only was his gut clenching, his heart was doing the Macarena. "Why wouldn't I call you that, Sweetness? What happened? What's the matter?" he asked urgently, leaning forward to snag her delicate hand and pull her toward him.
He felt as much as saw her hesitation, the gentle tug against his grip slight, but noticeable. Frowning he watched her detour his lap and sit on the coffee table in front of him instead, her turquoise skirt falling around her shapely legs as she braced her elbows on her thighs and buried her face in her hands.
"Penelope," Morgan said softly, his breath catching in his muscled chest as he stared in worry. "You're scaring the shit out of me, right now."
"That makes two of us, Love Muffin, because I'm freaking terrified at the moment."
Okay, panic was quickly becoming terror as he watched a single teardrop splash against her cheek and heard her quick sniffle. "Okay," Derek murmured as calmly as he could manage, scooting to the edge of the recliner and reaching for her hands. "Princess, you need to start talking at the supersonic speed only you can achieve. Otherwise, I'm gonna start assuming things and that never works out well for me. Did I do something?"
"Oh, you did something all right, Stud," Penelope managed to choke, staring down at her pale fingers entwined with is dark hands, her magenta nail polish brightly shining.
Quickly flipping through his most recent mental catalog of sins, he came up remarkably empty. He'd cut the lawn…taken out the trash…fed Clooney. Hell, he'd even managed to get his socks in the hamper this morning. He was clean, dammit! "Baby, talk to me," Morgan cajoled, chafing her hands with his. "There's never been anything you couldn't tell me even before we were together."
"What did I know? I was awash with hormones and pheromones. And I never had to tell you this!"
"Tell me what?" Morgan asked again, his voice growing a little desperate. Christ, had she found somebody else? Immediately discarding that thought, his mind reached again. Jesus, was she sick? What in the hell could possibly have her this rattled?
"I'm pregnant, Derek," Penelope blurted out, cracking one lid to watch his face, her pupils almost completely encompassing her eyes.
And, there was the second statement that could send his boys into hiding, Derek thought distantly as his jaw dropped and he stared at Penelope wide-eyed.
Opening both her eyes to focus on his face, Penelope cocked her head as she watched him, opening and closing his mouth soundlessly. She'd actually once watched her brother hook a fish that made that exact same fishy face. Funny, it wasn't any more attractive now than it had been then. "Say something, Derek! Use your big boy words," Penelope ordered desperately, the urge to scream at the top of her exceptionally healthy lungs threatening to overtake her completely.
"I…you….we can't be pregnant!" Derek exclaimed, beads of sweat bursting over his forehead.
"We're not! I am!" Penelope retorted, swatting at his hand as she pressed her other hand against her stomach. "And I can very much guarantee you that the rabbit fell into that great big rabbit hole in the sky!"
Derek grunted helplessly as he tried to make sense out of her statement. "Huh?"
"The rabbit died, you sexy lump of chocolate candy! You planted a very big bun in my oven."
"When?" Derek yelped, his eyebrows reaching his non-existent hair line.
"Approximately nine weeks ago, give or take a day."
His voice rising to a level bats could probably decipher, Derek asked, "How?"
Narrowing her eyes in obvious disdain of his non-existing profiling skills, Pen snorted. "Really?"
"I know how," Derek managed to wheeze out, waving a hand in the air between them as he tried to find the will to breathe. "I mean how?"
Penelope rolled her eyes as she leaned back on the coffee table. "Because that's much, much clearer, Hot Stuff."
"How, as in, we were careful, Baby Girl. You're on the pill. I always use saran wrap," he said, his eyes darting wildly around the room as if an answer would magically appear in the thin, charged air. "HOW?"
"How do I know," Penelope asked, flapping her arms, her pink sweater sliding over her shoulders. "All I know is that I've only been with you!"
"I know that." Derek grimaced, shaking his head as he rubbed his jaw. "It's not like I give you a lot of time to go looking anywhere else?" he said with a ghost of his usual wicked grin.
"Glad to know we've got that part resolved," Penelope muttered. Sighing, she poked him on the forehead as she growled, "I had that bout of bronchitis, remember? I was on antibiotics…you nursed me back to health with your special brand of tender loving care…the condom broke, but neither of us were really worried because we thought I was double covered…Is any of this ringing any bells for you, Lover?" she asked in exasperation.
Caught up in the memory of that very long weekend, Derek smirked. "Oh, yeah."
Slapping his arm when he tried to reach for her, Penelope ordered, "Stop gloating. You stuffed a bun in my oven when your little overachievers tag teamed one of my girls!"
Staring at her flushed, radiant face for a long moment, Derek slowly nodded. "Okay," he said, his smile widening as he nodded more enthusiastically, the earlier shock fading and a growing sense of elation overtaking him. "Okay!"
"Okay?" Penelope raised her eyebrows, warily wondering exactly what the man that she loved was actually thinking. And considering that she herself couldn't even put words to her own thoughts, how could she even feign to understand him?
"Hell, yeah! Okay!" Derek shouted, jerking her off the table and into his arms before she could even catch her balance. "We're having a baby!"
Automatically wrapping her hands around his neck, Penelope whispered against his neck, shock mixing with surprise in her tone,"You're happy?"
"Of course I'm happy! You're gonna give me a Little Mama!" Derek groaned, his arms contracting as he squeezed her against his chest, suddenly overcome by a myriad of emotions. Joy. Excitement! Elation! Each one more thrilling than the last.
"We didn't plan it," Penelope muttered against his cheek as her own heart began to fill with a flood of love so deep it threatened to drown her.
"Planning is for pussies," Derek declared as he shrugged, his embrace never loosening, his arms happily holding her as his grin widened exponentially. "You happy, Sweetness?"
"I'm having your baby, my sweet Baboo," Penelope whispered, blinking back tears that suddenly slipped through her normally well-heeled barriers. Sighing, she leaned her forehead against his, their breaths intertwining as she felt a smile start to spread across her lips. "It doesn't get any better than that."
And it really, really didn't.