Author's Note: Just a short story to promote the Profiler Choice Awards. Check out the info at the end!
JJ sat miserably in the corner of the reception hall as she watched the bride and groom dance. Her own marriage had fallen apart nearly a year ago and while she didn't regret her decision to let Will go, there were definitely times that she felt the loss of a partner more keenly than others. Times like when she came home from a bad case and had no one to talk to or when Henry was having a particularly bad day. Or at the wedding of her colleague, Rossi, to their former Section Chief. She tried to be happy for them, but feelings of loneliness were starting to overtake her.
"May I have this dance?"
JJ looked up, startled to find Hotch hovering over her, his hand outstretched. The tux that he wore in his duties as best man made her mouth go dry. Unable to speak, she simply nodded before allowing herself to be pulled onto the dance floor.
"It was a beautiful ceremony," Hotch commented, pulling her close. He rubbed his cheek against the top of her head.
"It was," she agreed as she inhaled the scent of his cologne. She instantly chided herself. No matter how good her looked or how attracted she was to him, he was still her boss and she needed to respect those boundaries. "It's a shame that Beth couldn't make."
Hotch chuckled. "Oh, she could have made it, but I didn't invite her.
JJ glanced at him, surprise all over her face. "Why not?" She blushed fiercely. "I'm sorry; it's not any of my business."
"It's okay, JJ," he assured her. "Beth was pressing me for a more formal arrangement, but I kept putting her off. I finally realized that there had to be a reason that I was."
"And did you fin your reason?"
He nodded. "Turns out that the reason that I didn't want to commit to Beth was because I wanted to commit to someone else, someone who hadn't been free to commit to me in the past, but that I'm hoping will want to in the future."
Butterflies danced in JJ's stomach, but she pressed on. "Do I know this person that has you throwing away a perfectly good relationship in the hopes that she will commit to you?"
"I'm pretty sure that you do." Hotch smiled at her ashen face. He moved his hands to her cheeks. "I love you, JJ. Seeing you is the highlight of my day. I'm not sure when it happened; it could have been the first time I met you or it could have been somewhere else along the way. I know that the year you spent away from the BAU was one of the worst years of my life and that the day you married Will, I thought I would stop breathing."
"I know that I've sprung this on you, but I can't run the risk that you'll find someone knew without ever knowing how I feel about you," he continued. "I understand that you probably never thought of me that way and I can give you the time to think it over if-"
JJ stopped him by placing her hand over his mouth. "I don't need any time, Hotch. I love you. I have for a long time, long before Will. I just never thought you noticed me as anything more than your employee."
Hotch's eyes bore into her. "Oh, I noticed. I always noticed you."
"I really want to kiss you," she whispered, "but I'm afraid of an audience."
"I think you're right," he agreed, seeing several pairs of eyes staring at the two of them. "I'm going to finish this dance with you and then return you to your table. I'm going to sit and have a drink with you where I am going to slip you my room key. After that drink, I'm going to make my rounds to say good-bye. After about a half hour, you should do the same and meet me upstairs."
JJ grinned. "I like that plan. Are we going to talk upstairs?"
Hotch nodded. "Sweetheart, we are going to do anything that you wish."
"Ooh, I really like that plan," she replied with a shiver. "I hope you're not planning on sleeping tonight."
"With you at my side, I'm not planning on sleeping for a week!"
NOMINATIONS HAVE STARTED FOR PROFILER'S CHOICE CRIMINAL MINDS FANFIC AWARDS! Calling all CM readers and authors! Join us for the annual Profiler's Choice CM Awards on! Help us choose the best of the best of the CM stories on, and let your voice be heard. Please check out the nomination ballot and rules at the ProfilerChoiceAwards2013 Forum. All rules and information are on the forum. Nominations are due October 31st. All entries with ten or more categories filled out are eligible to win one of two Amazon gift cards!
www. fanfiction forum/Profiler-Choice-Awards-2013/141001/