SOME SPECIAL, SPECIAL NEWS FOR OUR READERS:

We wanted all our readers here on fanfiction. net to know...

We (the authors ilovetvalot and tonnie2001969) are pleased to announce the publication of our first book on Kindle...Inescapable Eye of the Storm. Join our original characters Abigail Donovan and Colin Storm as they find a unique way to ride out the storm brewing...both inside and outside the bedroom!

Romance and Erotica find their perfect mix in this fantastic tale of pleasure brought to you by Sarah O'Rourke. That's the penname we've chosen to use professionally.

There's a sneak peek that is available on Amazon. com on the "Look Inside" tab. If you've liked our fanfiction, we can't wait to hear what you think about our first published piece!

For anyone interested, right now, our work is exclusively available for purchase at Amazon. Com. And you don't need a kindle to read it (though Kindle readers are always appreciated)… you can download it to your computer! Simply travel over to Amazon. Com and search for Inescapable Eye of the Storm by Sarah O'Rourke!

Thanks to everyone that encouraged us to make this leap.

And bonus news…Colin and Abby's story doesn't stop here. More books are coming your way! Stay tuned – We'll be launching a website and facebook page for our alter- ego, Sarah, very soon!

Also, we WILL continue with all of our fanfiction stories. We won't be abandoning anything. We might just be a little slow.


This story was written for Felena Fanfiction. Her prompts where: antique handkerchief, mimosas, and 'You had me from hello'.


Holding On and Letting Go

Stomping down the hallway toward Aaron Hotchner's apartment door, Penelope Garcia paused long enough to wipe the fine sheen of perspiration from her flaming cheeks with her antique lace handkerchief. Being enraged always gave her a certain shiny glow.

Finally finding the door at the end of the long corridor, she pounded her not insubstantial fist against the dark wood, tapping her heel shod foot impatiently. "C'mon, Boss Man! Open up! I know you're in there!" she yelled, pounding again as she imagined the door was her fearless leader's head.

"I'm coming!" She heard his muffled voice call out before the door opened to reveal Aaron Hotchner's confused face.

"Penelope!"

"Don't you dare feign shock," Penelope huffed, shoving past him to enter the familiar apartment. "You had to know that I'd be paying you a visit."

Closing the door behind his irate technical analyst, Aaron sighed. She wasn't wrong. He had been all too aware that the determined woman would be paying him a visit to express her opinion on recent decisions he'd made. He just hadn't expected it so soon. Perhaps tonight. Maybe even tomorrow. Certainly not within fifteen minutes of leaving her his voice mail on her phone.

"Garcia, I really don't think this warranted you coming all the way over here," he began calmly, crossing his arms over his chest.

Spinning on her heel, she glared at the man who'd been more like an older brother than a boss to her for the past eight years. "Are you kidding me?" she snorted. "You had me from 'hello' with that little message you left!"

"Penelope, it's for the best," Aaron began, holding up both his hands, whether to quell her words or defend himself, he wasn't quite sure yet.

"I swear on my iPad, that may be the stupidest thing you might have ever said," Penelope growled, the urge to stomp her feet like a toddler nearly overwhelming her. "Imagine my surprise when I was interrupted from my weekly mimosa Sunday festivities by a beeping phone. If it had been a case, I would have been disappointed. If it had been a personal emergency, I would have understood. But this!" she yelled, holding the phone over her head and shaking it wildly, "is ridiculous! Damn it, I squeezed that orange juice by hand!"

"Penelope, I merely wanted you to know that you wouldn't need to watch Jack because…"

"Because you're a candyass coward?" Penelope said, her eyes sparkling with challenge. "Don't you dare use my little munchkin as your excuse!"

Inhaling deeply as her accusation threatened to rattle the window, Aaron had to remind himself that she was his friend. She was a person that had his best interests at heart. She was not a fury sent from Satan's underground playground to tempt him into madness. No, this was just Garcia when she thought she was right about something. And clearly, he was only validating her supposition with his continued silence. He needed to do something about that.

"I'm not scared, Garcia," he tried again, shaking his head as he gestured toward the couch. "Please sit down."

Hurling herself down on the cushioned surface, Pen glared at the older man but remained silent as he took the seat across from her.

"It was never going to work," he said softly, his dark eyes meeting hers.

Shaking her head, Garcia denied immediately, "She was perfect!"

"Jack doesn't like her," Hotch countered. "Good God, Garcia! He poured hot sauce in her coffee and told her he thought it was cream!"

"I'm not saying that your son doesn't need time to adjust to a new woman in his life," Garcia replied, her lips twitching in amusement. "But, I think this has more to do with your insecurity than your son's."

"Look, it's obvious you like Beth." Hotch sighed. Hell, the entire team liked Beth. He liked Beth. Given enough time, it would be very easy to see himself loving Beth.

"I do," Pen agreed adamantly. "But this isn't about me." She shook her hair, curls falling haphazardly around her face. "This is about you, my Captain. And you are determined to use your seven year old son as an excuse." Seeing Aaron's face cloud, she hurried on, "I'm not saying that Jack doesn't have a problem with it, but he's a child. He's going to have a problem with anyone that he thinks is trying to take Haley's place in his life. That, however, is a problem that can be overcome. It's one that I think Beth is more than capable of overcoming. And if she isn't, then she obviously isn't the right woman for either of you. You have to give her a chance, Hotch!"

Shifting uncomfortably in his Queen Anne chair, Hotch let out another sigh as he admitted, "Well, she did handle the whole hot sauce incident with grace. A whole lot more than I would have had if the situation had been reversed."

"See?" Penelope bounced eagerly on the couch. "Beth isn't a dumb woman, Hotch. She realizes what she's getting into with you guys. You and Jack have come so far. Don't backtrack now."

"It's hard, Penelope," Hotch confided huskily. "It almost feels like I'm…"

"Being unfaithful to Haley?" Pen supplied gently.

"How'd you know?"

"Because I don't need to be a profiler to know how much you loved her. Before and after the divorce," Garcia said softly. "She's gone, though, Hotch."

"I know," Aaron conceded huskily.

"It's time to move on," she continued steadily. "I'm not saying it has to be with Beth. That's up to you. But don't turn your back on a really good opportunity just because of fear. You'll regret it later."

"You know, moving on isn't as easy as all the self-help books say it is," Aaron complained, pinching the bridge of his nose. "They don't tell you that at the most unexpected moments, you'll catch a whiff of a familiar perfume…or that you'll be having a perfectly innocent conversation and realize that you've had it before. With another person. And in that instant moment, it doesn't matter how long she's been gone; it feels like it happened minutes ago and the guilt is crushing."

Biting her lip, her heart ached for the man in front of her. "You're right, Hotch. There's nothing easy about it. It's just necessary. You didn't stop living because Haley did. It's okay for you to feel happy again."

Hotch leaned his head against the high back of the chair. "It's a weird feeling."

"You've grieved a long time, Hotch." Penelope nodded. "Happy is going to feel odd for a while."

"I guess," he replied hesitantly.

Narrowing her eyes, she begged, "Tell me that you didn't cancel your date with Beth tonight."

"I haven't…not yet," he replied heavily.

"Good." Garcia nodded. "That's good. You're going," she insisted vehemently. "Whether you pursue a relationship with Beth or not, she deserves better than to have things broken off in a phone call or an email. You owe her more than that. You are not that guy, Hotch."

"No, I'm not," he replied evenly. "She's a good person, isn't she?" he asked with a slight smile.

"Yeah, I think she is," Penelope agreed. "More important than that, I think she's good for you. And Jack."

"Maybe you're right," Aaron murmured.

"Of course, I'm right," Penelope declared, rising from the couch to shake out her full skirt. "And now that I've drawn you back from the relationship ledge, I'm going home to have that mimosa. I'll be back here at eight sharp and I expect you to be ready to wine and dine that delightful lady. Then, Aunt Penny will have a talk with her junior g-man."

Following her to the door, Hotch offered her a genuine smile. "I'd appreciate that. Thank you, Penelope," he said gratefully. "I owe you."

"Oh, it's just one more service I provide," she trilled as she winked. "Helping friends learn when to hold on and when to let go. I trust you will make the right decision, Boss Man."

"I hope so." Aaron nodded. "See you tonight."

Smiling as he closed the door, Penelope slowly exhaled a long breath and sagged against the wall. The ultimate choice was out of her hands now.

She only hoped that Hotch chose the woman on the right side of the grave.

Finis