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Take My Hand and Show Me the Way
Part One

By mel

 

25

Emily opened the front door and smiled at the candlelight that greeted her. At first she had been hesitant to share her plans with Garcia but, in the end, the ends justified the means because there was no way that she would have been able to set up the important parts of what was waiting for them before she left. She eased into the space, her smile widening as she heard JJ's breath hitch behind her, and dropped her keys onto the island, next to a small card that hadn't been there when she'd left earlier that afternoon. The inscription of, Ms. Emily Prentiss, Panty-Dropper Extraordinaire, on the front of the envelope told her all she needed to know about who it was from though and she eased it into a drawer to be read later. She'd waited all day for this moment; she wasn't going to waste it by taking time to read her friend's teasing comments. There was plenty of time for that later.

Now it was time for dessert.

She turned to find JJ stalled behind the back of the couch, her attention focused on the collection of blankets that were piled on the floor where the coffee table used to be, that portion of the room lit by the moon outside the wide open windows that overlooked the Capital and the numerous candles interspersed around it.

She retrieved a thin, rectangular box from the fridge and lifted the gold lid to make sure that Garcia had managed to pick up the right confections for her since she had been running late earlier and had been unable to pick them up herself. She nodded happily to herself as she saw exactly what she had ordered and quickly replaced the lid, hiding the contents from prying eyes, before she grabbed the stereo remote off the bar and flipped on the sound system. The remote landed back onto the granite counter with a distracted clatter as she watched JJ study the changes she'd made to the room and crossed the small space separating her from the blonde to gather the younger woman in her arms. "You okay?" she hummed softly as she wrapped her arms around JJ's waist.

JJ looked from the box in Emily's hands, to the blankets, to the sterling silver ice bucket that held an already open bottle of champagne, before she turned to meet the brunette's gaze. "Yes. What's this?"

Emily grinned. "Dessert. As promised."

JJ licked her lips and nodded, her expression adorably confused as she tried to figure out what it was that Emily was planning. "Okay," she drawled.

Emily's grin eased to a soft, loving smile as she carefully dropped the box in her hand onto the couch. The contents needed to be treated with care, but they weren't so fragile that they couldn't handle the short two-foot fall to the sofa. Both hands now free, she moved in closer, her arms crossing over JJ's stomach to cradle protruding hip bones in her palms as she pushed herself flush against the blonde's back.

"I love you," Emily purred as she nuzzled the side of JJ's neck. Much like her own, the side of JJ's neck was particularly sensitive. She smiled against the skin under her lips as she remembered an odd, completely arbitrary piece of trivia. Right along the edge of the sternocleidomastoid.

"I love you," JJ sighed as Emily's teeth raked over sensitive flesh. "And, what was that smile for?"

Emily chuckled, tightening her hold on JJ's hips as she hid her face in the crook of the younger woman's neck. "Nothing, sweetie. Just… a random geeky thought. I'll try and contain them from now on."

"Now I really want to know wha…" JJ's voice trailed off as Emily's mouth latched onto her neck and sucked hungrily. "Fuck that feels so good."

"I know," Emily agreed softly, repeating the harsh suction one more time before soothing the reddened skin with the flat of her tongue.

"God," JJ sighed, her body going limp in Emily's arms as the brunette's mouth worked against her.

Emily smiled and nipped playfully at the skin under her mouth. "Emily is good enough," she teased as she spun JJ around to face her. "Have I told you how amazing you look in this dress?" she asked as she ran her hands up and down JJ's sides.

"You have," JJ answered breathlessly.

"Mmm." Emily nodded, an impish grin tweaking her lips as she leaned in to claim JJ's lips in a deep, lingering kiss. "Have I told you how much I want to see it on the floor?" she asked as she pulled away.

JJ moaned loudly as her nipples contracted to hard little points and every drop of moisture in her body flowed south to settle between her legs. "Now you have," she whimpered.

Emily made a small sound of contentment in her throat as she worked her hands higher over JJ's back, searching for the zipper that she knew had to be hidden there. Her right hand found the discretely placed seam and she slipped the tip of her index finger between the folds of fabric to flip up the tab. She let her eyes fill with the absolute depth of her emotion as she began pulling the zipper down slowly, so slowly that she could feel each tooth release beneath her fingertips. She had unzipped enough women in her life to know that this was an act to be cherished, that it was a gift JJ was giving her, and she was damned certain that she'd make sure the blonde knew exactly how much she cherished the opportunity.

"You are so beautiful," she murmured as the third tooth of the zipper released under her hand. "I look at you and you literally steal my breath away," she confessed in a hushed whisper as the fourth and fifth teeth popped free.

JJ moaned at the feeling of her dress becoming incrementally looser, at the stark, unflinching honesty in Emily's voice, at the unfettered desire looking at her from deep within smoldering mahogany eyes. She wanted to say something sweet in response, something that would tell the brunette that she felt the same way, that she would look at the profiler and literally feel her heart skip a beat in her chest, but Emily's reverent touch, her soft-spoken words, the look in her eyes, drove all coherent thought from her head.

Emily smiled at the way JJ surrendered to her touch. She moved the zipper lower still, releasing two more teeth, her gaze focused on JJ's perfect body as the shimmering blue sheath loosened to the point that she was able to relax her hold on the material and let it fall to the floor. Her eyes followed its path down, over smooth honeyed skin to where it puddled around the blonde's feet before it was kicked unceremoniously aside.

She licked her lips appreciatively as her gaze moved higher, over long, lean legs that she couldn't wait to run her tongue over, past dainty black lace that stretched across trim hips and up, higher still, gliding over toned, trembling abs to perfect breasts encased in sheer black lace that matched the blonde's panties. Her eyes zeroed in on already hardened nipples that begged for her lips to suckle, an unconscious mewl of need spilling from her lips as she forced her eyes higher, past plump kissable lips to focus on smoky, storm tossed blue eyes.

"Jennifer," she husked softly, her voice barely louder than a breath, wholly convinced that anything louder would cause the angel before her to disappear.

JJ leaned in and claimed Emily's lips in a slow, deep, explorative kiss as her hands set to work getting rid of Emily's slacks and shirt as well, until they were pressed together, satin and lace and heated skin meeting gloriously as arms wrapped around waists and mouths sought their mate, lips open, tongues dancing together as they stumbled around the side of the couch to the collection of blankets.

Emily lovingly helped JJ down onto the makeshift bed and smiled reassuringly before she turned from her to reach for the box she had dropped onto the sofa. Her prize in hand, she gracefully lowered herself to JJ's side, leaning across the younger woman to set it next to the champagne even as she claimed her lips in yet another caress. She slipped her hand around the blonde's side, her fingers gliding over smooth skin and textured lace, searching for and finding the clasp holding JJ's bra in place. She smiled into their next kiss, a low hum rumbling deep in her throat as she pinched JJ's bra open and guided the lace down the blonde's body until she was able to toss it aside. No longer able to contain her desires, she dipped her head down to take a pert nipple between her lips, pinching it lightly between her teeth, and lashing it with the tip of her tongue. She groaned sympathetically at JJ's cry of pleasure, and arched into her as long, slender fingers tangled themselves in her hair to hold her in place.

JJ whimpered and writhed under Emily as the brunette made love to her breast, each suck, each flick of a tongue, every single goddamn nip of teeth arcing through her in a flash of ecstasy. She moaned loudly when Emily's mouth abandoned her, her eyes flashing open to find smiling brown ones watching her carefully.

Emily smirked as she eased a finger under the waistband of JJ's panties to tease soft, golden curls for the briefest of moments before giving the restrictive lace a gentle tug.

JJ eagerly lifted her hips and even reached down with her left hand to help remove the offending article. The panties hooked around her left ankle and she gave the leg a couple of quick kicks to dislodge them. She watched the scrap of black lace go flying into the window, but couldn't find it in herself to care with the way Emily was looking at her, and she let her leg fell back to the blankets, bent outward in a silent offering.

Emily licked her lips at the sight of JJ spread naked before her. "My angel," she murmured.

JJ smiled and reached up to run two fingers down the hollow between Emily's breasts, hooking those fingers into the satin fabric of the brunette's bra and giving it a tug. "Off," she commanded.

Emily smiled and nodded, compliantly unhooking her own bra and tossing it aside before also ridding herself of her panties. "Better?"

Hungry blue eyes raked over perfect alabaster skin, pausing for a moment to drown in the heat she knew lay at the apex of Emily's thighs before traveling higher to meet laughing brown eyes challengingly. "Yes."

Emily chuckled as she leaned in to kiss JJ softly. "So, you want that dessert?"

JJ frowned in her surprise. That was certainly not what she had been expecting to come out of Emily's mouth. "You want to stop to eat?" she asked disbelievingly.

Emily bit her lip as she both nodded and shook her head in a jumble of mixed signals, her lust darkened eyes twinkling playfully. "Not necessarily," she answered vaguely as she leaned across JJ, purposefully pressing her breast into the blonde's as she reached for the gold topped box she'd set next to the champagne.

"What's that?" JJ asked curiously as she watched Emily begin to fiddle with the lid, wiggling it higher and higher until it came free. She craned her neck, trying to see inside the small box, but Emily tipped it away from her.

"Dessert," Emily answered succinctly as she withdrew a big, fat chocolate covered strawberry.

JJ looked from the strawberry in Emily's hand to the brunette's smiling lips. "There's more to this, I'm sure. Care to explain?"

Emily smiled wolfishly and nodded as she moved herself to JJ's side, so that the blonde's entire length was exposed to her. "Remember when," she began as she trailed the tip of the strawberry over JJ's already erect nipple, "you told me you liked to dip your chocolate covered strawberries in whipped cream?"

JJ moaned at the feeling of the cold, chocolate-covered fruit tracing around her nipple and nodded. "Yes."

Emily bit her lip as she moved the strawberry higher to paint JJ's lips. She chuckled and pulled the fruit away as she watched JJ's mouth open to bite into it. "Nu-uh-uh," she murmured, and received an angry glare in response. "Patience, Jennifer," she chided as she moved the strawberry back down to tease the blonde's other nipple.

"Fuck, Em," JJ grunted at the strange sensation.

"Maybe later," Emily murmured. "Now, as I was saying," she began again as she began using the point of the strawberry to draw random patterns on JJ's stomach, "you said that you like to give your chocolate covered strawberries an extra dip in whipped cream. I, however, had something else in mind that I'd like to dip this big… juicy… strawberry in..."

JJ's mouth fell open into a perfect 'O' of understanding, her left leg rolling to the side almost of its own accord.

Emily nodded. "Yes," she purred seductively as she used the berry in her hand to trace the line on JJ's body where the blonde's leg hinged.

JJ moaned as she felt the strawberry dip down onto her inner thigh, and she automatically rolled her hip outward, opening herself up further for Emily's exploration. "Yes," she whimpered as she felt the brunette guide that teasing piece of fruit over her lower lips.

Emily bit her lip, her eyes flicking up to drink in JJ's wanton, expectant expression for a moment before returning down to her hand and watching as the strawberry dipped between the blonde's folds, spreading the swollen lips wider to reveal an abundant pool of wetness. "Jayj," she breathed roughly as she gently, tenderly dipped her strawberry deeper into the wetness waiting for her.

JJ rolled her head back into the blankets, her back arching forward even as her hips rocked hard against the fruit. It wasn't as cold as it was when Emily had begun her teasing, but it was still chilled, and hard, and foreign, and new, and different, and abso-fucking-lutely amazing. "My god!" she grunted, the cry of pleasure turning into an indecipherable sound of distress once the strawberry was removed.

"Open your eyes," Emily husked as she propped herself up on her elbow, moving to where she knew JJ would be able to see her. Once she knew she had the blonde's full attention, she extended her tongue to lick the arousal coating one side of the strawberry, moaning appreciatively at the taste.

"Shit," JJ whimpered as the sound of Emily's moan caused another wave of need to course through her.

Emily grinned and opened her mouth wider, guiding the plump fruit between her lips to bite into it. She allowed her eyes to close as she chewed, savoring and committing the flavor to memory, and only opened them once she had swallowed. She held JJ's gaze captive as she leaned in and claimed her lips in a deep, hungry kiss, pushing her tongue into the willing woman's mouth, letting her taste the combination of flavors that her own desire and chocolate and strawberry created.

JJ moaned into the kiss, unabashedly rubbing her tongue over every surface she could reach inside Emily's mouth, surprised to find that she could actually taste herself in the myriad of flavors coating Emily's tongue. "My god," she groaned once Emily pulled back.

Emily winked and held the half-eaten strawberry in front of JJ's mouth. "Want a bite?" she asked, even as she guided the dripping fruit down to JJ's waiting lips. She felt her body clench as JJ's nimble tongue licked up the length of exposed flesh before she lifted her head up off the blankets to capture what was left of the fruit in her mouth.

"Delicious," JJ hummed after she'd swallowed.

"Better than whipped cream?" Emily teased as she retrieved another strawberry from the box.

JJ licked her lips and nodded, understanding what Emily's plan was and being more than willing to play along. "Pretty close."

"Wow, only 'pretty close'?" Emily murmured with an affected air of thoughtfulness. "Well, I guess I should try this again," she sighed as she ran the back of her hand that held the strawberry up the inside of JJ's leg.

JJ bit her lip to hold in the moan that was building in her chest as Emily's hand moved higher and higher. "Emily, baby," she whimpered as the brunette's touch stalled so close to where she needed her.

"Shh," Emily soothed as she slid down on the blankets, adjusting herself so that her mouth was even with JJ's breasts. She licked her lips as she leaned in closer, her tongue brushing over the rigid nub of the blonde's nipple at the exact moment she rolled her wrist to run the strawberry over JJ's clit. She smiled and leaned in to wrap her lips around JJ's nipple, letting her breath fall in hot pants over the sensitive nub as she eased her fingers down, off of JJ's clit to press the tip of the strawberry against the blonde's opening.

"Em," JJ gasped as the brunette began teasing her, lightly thrusting the strawberry in and out, stimulating the nerve endings embedded in that sensitive ring of muscle until her entire body was pulsating with need.

Emily sucked hard against the nipple between her lips as she rotated her wrist, spinning the strawberry where it was buried inside JJ. Another scream tore itself from JJ's throat and she stalled her touch, looking up at JJ to make sure that she was okay. "Jen?"

"Fuck, Em – don't stop!" JJ cried out, her eyes flashing open to focus on worried brown. "Please, baby," she whimpered imploringly. "Don't stop."

Emily smirked. "So, then, I take it you like my extra-dip better than your whipped cream?" she asked, not really wanting to tease JJ but, rather, needing to because she could feel that the chocolate on the strawberry was already melting from the blonde's body heat and she wasn't sure how good it would be to actually use the small piece of fruit on her for an extended period of time.

JJ rolled her eyes and nodded. "Yes. Okay? Now, please," she groaned, lifting her hips entreatingly at her lover, a louder, deeper moan spilling from her lips as she watched Emily's lips wrap around the piece of fruit that had been inside her.

Emily moaned decadently with a mischievous twinkle in her eye as she chewed. "M'kay," she hummed after she'd swallowed her bite. She tossed the stem toward the box that still held four strawberries and a handful of truffles, and leaned in to kiss JJ passionately, her tongue darting out to circle around the blonde's as she ran her fingers up the inside of the younger woman's leg until she was able to trace a hovering finger above her center.

JJ hissed as Emily's fingers began circling her clit, lightly rubbing her in slow, lazy figure eights. "Emily," she whimpered, rocking her hips up into Emily's hand, trying to force the brunette to press more firmly against her.

Emily smiled against JJ's lips, extending her tongue to lick them playfully as she pulled away. She slowed the movement of her fingers even further as she began laying a line of soft kisses down JJ's body, mercifully gliding past the blonde's breasts without detour until she was brushing her upper lip over a protruding hipbone as she eased between parted, waiting thighs. She wrapped her arms around JJ's legs, pulling the younger woman open wider, drawing her into her mouth as she dipped her head to run the flat of her tongue through her folds. She moaned loudly against JJ's sex as she dipped her tongue inside her, certain that she could actually taste strawberries and chocolate mixed in with the blonde's arousal. "Delicious," she growled as she pulled back, only to dive back in and repeat the motion, pushing her tongue as deep inside JJ as she possibly could.

JJ's body bowed, and her hands reached blindly to hold Emily's head in place as she felt the brunette's tongue curl inside her. "Em!" she screamed as she felt the brunette's tongue plunge into her again and again, rubbing, stretching, curling exquisitely inside her as strong fingers wrapped around her thighs, holding her open so that she could get as close to her as possible.

Knowing that JJ wouldn't be able to achieve her release from this touch alone, Emily plunged her tongue as deep as she could into her one last time before running her tongue up to the exposed bundle of nerves at the blonde's apex. She laid a long, heavy lick to the bud, causing it to jump under her tongue, before she pulled back to blow a steady stream of air over the point and smiled as she watched JJ writhe in front of her. A litany of barely coherent words, ranging from religious to profane, fell from the blonde's mouth as she took the bundle between her lips and began to suck against it. She varied the tempo and the force she used, purposefully driving JJ's need higher and higher, but purposefully never provided enough of a rhythm to allow her to fall.

JJ gasped for air as the heat in her belly spread outward until she was consumed by it, every nerve ending alive, begging to be touched, unable to hear even her own ragged voice crying out in pleasure over the deafening thunder that was her pulse pounding in her ears, unable to see anything beyond the kaleidoscope of colors flashing behind her eyes. And then, with a hard suck and the lash of a tongue against her, she shattered.

Emily slowed her mouth over JJ as she felt the blonde tense beneath her, lightening her touch as JJ screamed her ecstasy to the rafters. Once JJ had fallen still before her, she laid one last soft, reverent kiss to the blonde's clit before she moved higher to gaze upon her lover's face. She smiled at the glazed look in JJ's eyes, her heart melting at the faint smile that lifted the corners of those perfect lips that were parted ever so slightly as the blonde gasped for air. She wiped her face off with her hand, smearing the remnants of JJ's arousal over the blankets beneath them as she leaned in to press her lips to the blonde's forehead. "I love you," she whispered as she covered the younger woman's body with her own.

A small sound rumbled in JJ's throat, but the blonde was unable to formulate anything more articulate as she turned into Emily, soaking in the brunette's warmth and protection as she floated aimlessly on the waves of her retreating euphoria. She came back to herself slowly, drawn by the feeling of Emily's lips against her head, of the brunette's hips settled intimately between her legs. She smiled as she lifted her head to press a lazy kiss to the column of the brunette's throat before breaking the silence surrounding them with a rough, "I officially love strawberries."

Emily grinned and rolled her hips into JJ. "Me too," she chuckled.

"Not as much as me," JJ argued playfully as she rolled them over so that she was now straddling Emily. She smirked at the look of surprise on the brunette's face as she leaned in to kiss her tenderly. One soft kiss became two, and it wasn't long before tongues peeked out between parted lips to tangle together playfully between them. "But we can always test out that theory," she offered as she pulled back enough to arch a brow challengingly at her lover.

Emily smiled and reached a hand up to run a finger down the line of the blonde's nose. "Jennifer," she drawled as she pressed her fingertip against the end of JJ's adorable little nose. "I will enjoy anything you wish to do to me."

JJ swallowed thickly and nodded jerkily as she licked her lips in anticipation. "Then, I guess I should get a strawberry," she mused as she leaned off to the side to grab a berry from the box.

"If you must," Emily murmured taking advantage of her position to fondle JJ's breasts.

JJ glowered at the brunette who was looking up at her with wholly unrepentant smirk plastered on her face. "My turn."

"My toys," Emily argued, giving the mounds under her hands a squeeze.

JJ laughed and batted Emily's hands away as she shifted herself over the brunette until she was able to settle comfortably between the profiler's legs. She lazily ran her eyes over the vision of Emily spread before her, completely unabashed in her nudity, comfortable enough with herself and their relationship to just lie there and wait to be touched.

And oh, how JJ wanted to touch.

She licked her lips as her gaze zeroed in on the brunette's sex, already so incredibly wet and swollen, and she couldn't help but take the berry in her hand and run it through those pink lips, coating it with Emily's arousal. She lifted her eyes to Emily's as she pressed it into the brunette tauntingly, the twinkle in her eyes quite clearly asking, What do you think of this?, while the moan that spilled from Emily's lips told her better than words ever could exactly how much the brunette enjoyed it. She brushed it over Emily's clit firmly; smirking at the way the brunette bucked and gasped at the touch before she lifted it to her lips to have a bite. Her eyes closed at the flavor of her lover on the fruit, much as the brunette's eyes had shut during her first taste, and when she opened them again she found ravenous brown eyes staring back at her.

"You know," she mused as she took the half-eaten strawberry in her hands and dipped it back between Emily's legs, using the hard edge her bite had left of the fruit to flick the brunette's clit lightly. "Although I like your extra-dip better than my whipped cream extra-dip, I have to admit that this is the best extra-dip ever," she rambled.

"That's very nice, sweetie. Good to know. Now…" Emily let her voice trail off as she lifted her hips beseechingly.

JJ nodded. "Just, let me finish my snack," JJ murmured as she popped what was left of the strawberry into her mouth. A low appreciative moan rumbled in her throat as she chewed and once she swallowed, she smiled at Emily and said, "Definitely orgasmic."

Emily groaned and again lifted her hips at her lover. "Speaking of orgasmic…"

JJ cocked her head to the side and grinned as she reached for the bucket holding the champagne they had still yet to enjoy. She pulled out an ice cube that was already beginning to melt and held it over Emily's body, letting the cold-water drip off the cube onto her lover's torso.

Emily hissed when the first cold drop of water landed between her breasts. "Jennifer, please, baby," she gasped. If JJ wanted to tease her with ice, so be it, just so long as the blonde's hands and mouth ended up somewhere on her body she'd take it. "Touch me."

JJ whimpered softly under her breath as she lowered the cube in her hand to Emily's right breast, running the ice over a dusky nipple and watching it grow to a taut peak. When Emily's moans began to sound more like pain than pleasure she lowered her mouth and took the nipple between her lips, sucking at it lightly.

"Fuck yes," Emily grunted at the feeling of JJ's hot mouth upon her breast, at the sensation of the blonde's warm tongue against her skin.

JJ smirked and pulled back enough to repeat the process, first the ice, then her mouth, before switching sides and delivering identical attentions to the brunette's other breast.

Emily writhed under JJ's mouth, the contradiction of sensations quite literally driving her mad with need and she couldn't contain the shaky moan that escaped her when she felt the now familiar burning cold blaze a trail down her stomach. "Please baby," she whimpered as JJ's mouth followed the path set by the ice. "God Jen, please baby," she moaned, pulling her legs open wider, begging the blonde to keep moving. "I need you."

JJ, who had been tiring of her little game anyways, moved her hand with the now nearly completely melted piece of ice she'd been playing with between Emily's legs and brushed it ever so gently against the brunette's clit.

Emily's body jerked at the almost painful sensation – almost, because while it was a shock, there was something about it that felt so, so good as well – and she relaxed almost immediately as JJ's mouth surrounded her, taking away the sting of the cold and replacing it with warmth. She tensed as she felt JJ pull back, her hands reflexively tightening in the blankets as she awaited the touch she knew would be coming. Because her eyes were screwed shut, she couldn't see JJ pop the piece of ice into her mouth, and she moaned loudly as the blonde's hot mouth surrounded her even as the cube pressed against her again. Her hips rolled back before rocking up almost violently into the touch, her body not knowing whether to pull away from the sting or push into the warmth. She tangled one hand in JJ's hair as the blonde continued to slowly tease her, her hips working against the younger woman's mouth almost frantically as her body continued to fight with itself, wanting both more and less at the same time.

The cube melted faster inside JJ's mouth as it was attached to the warmth of Emily's body and it wasn't long, though JJ could tell that it felt like forever to her lover, before it disappeared. "God I love you," she murmured, running her hands over the sides of Emily's thighs as she began lightly licking her clit.

"I… love… you," Emily groaned, her body slipping away from her as it was enveloped in the warmth of JJ's touch. "So much," she whispered as she eased her hold on JJ's hair, now aware of how hard she'd been tugging at it, and began lightly scratching her nails against the blonde's scalp in time with the tongue moving against her.

JJ smiled at the sentiment, her heart warmed by the depth of emotion in Emily's voice. She kept her touch soft, but increased the speed of her tongue flicking across the sensitive point until Emily's hips began bucking out of rhythm against her mouth. Knowing that the brunette was close, she eased one finger inside her, curling it upward to press against the hidden spot deep inside the brunette and pulling her over the edge into release. She slowed her touch, easing Emily through her orgasm and only stopped when the brunette's muscles relaxed around her.

Emily reached down and pulled against JJ's shoulders, wanting to feel the warmth, the weight, the security of her lover's body atop her own and she sighed when JJ complied. "I love you, Jennifer," she murmured as she wrapped her arms around the blonde and held her close.

JJ snuggled into Emily's embrace and smiled as she pressed her lips to the salty column of the brunette's throat. "I love you," she hummed. "Thank you for tonight," she whispered after a few moments.

Emily smiled and turned to kiss the blonde's brow softly. "My pleasure, sweetie."

They laid together in a comfortable, contented silence and only broke apart when JJ shivered. "I'm sorry," JJ apologized.

"Don't be," Emily assured her as she sat up. "Here," she said as she reached for a robe that had been folded up on the couch. "Put this on."

JJ smiled. "You really think of everything, don't you?" she asked as she slipped her arms into the fluffy white robe.

Emily ducked her head and smiled. "I try. When it comes to you, I try," she whispered as she pulled a second, identical robe off of the couch and put it on. "Can I interest you in a glass of champagne?" she asked, waving at the bucket that was now slick with condensation.

"Of course."

Emily gathered the flutes and handed them to JJ with a smile. "Hold these?" she hummed, not waiting for a response before she turned to retrieve the champagne. She carefully filled each glass about three-quarters full before gracefully returning the dark green bottle to the sterling silver bucket.

"Here you go." JJ handed Emily a glass as the brunette settled in next to her, leaning back against the couch.

"Thank you," Emily murmured, taking the glass and holding it up at JJ. "To us," she said simply.

JJ smiled and clinked her glass against Emily's. "To us."

 

26

JJ smiled as she stood at the vanity in Emily's bathroom, not even seeing her reflection in the mirror in front of her as she added the finishing touches to her makeup for their dinner with the Ambassador. The events from the night before kept replaying in her mind, the adorable blush that tinted Emily's cheeks as Charlie was sharing some of their childhood exploits, the feeling of the brunette's arms around her as they danced, the unfettered look of devotion that had filled those beautiful brown eyes while they made love. It had been a magical evening, one that had only grown more powerfully intimate once they'd ended up in bed after finishing off the chocolate treats Emily had bought and sharing some champagne. She was so lost in her thoughts, in fact, that she failed to notice when Emily came to stand in the doorway to watch her.

"What's that smile for, beautiful?" Emily asked.

JJ blushed as she cut her eyes over to Emily's reflection in the mirror as she slid the mascara wand she'd been using back into its bottle. "I was just thinking about last night," she said as she ran a quick brush through her hair, smoothing errant strands that the hairdryer had blown askew.

Emily nodded. "So, how'd I do? Was it a good first date?" she asked, genuinely curious as to the blonde's thoughts of the evening.

JJ laughed. "It was okay, I guess. Good enough that I'll let you try again."

Emily grinned in response to the playful sparkle in JJ's bright blue eyes and pushed herself off of the doorframe. "Oh, really? You'll let me try again, huh?" she teased as she moved in behind the smaller woman and wrapped her arms around her waist.

JJ giggled. "Well, you know…"

"No, I don't," Emily replied softly, enjoying their banter as she used her right hand to lift JJ's hair out of the way so she could drop a line of kisses up the length of the blonde's throat. "Why don't you tell me which part I need to work on?" she breathed against JJ's ear.

JJ moaned and leaned back into Emily, turning her head to the side and offering more of herself to be devoured. "Nothing," she breathed, relenting in the face of her increasing arousal. "It was perfect."

"You are perfect," Emily murmured as she brushed her lips over the line of JJ's jaw. "Thank you for letting me take you out."

JJ laughed throatily. "Babe, believe me, the pleasure was all mine. Thank you for asking."

"Anytime, Jennifer. As often as you'll let me," Emily swore softly, her absolute sincerity ringing in her words.

"Mmm," JJ hummed, spinning around in Emily's arms so she could kiss the brunette tenderly. "So, how long do we have until we need to leave?" she asked as she draped her arms over Emily's shoulders.

Emily shrugged. "We have time still. When the Ambassador is in the city, she stays at the house in Georgetown. She likes to be close to the action, it makes her feel more involved with the comings and goings of the diplomatic world."

JJ hiked a brow, obviously impressed. "And where does she stay when she's not in town?"

Emily smiled. "Well, there's whatever ostentatious mansion assigned to the Ambassador in whatever post she's stationed, of course."

"Of course," JJ echoed.

"But if she's not here or there, she's usually at the house in Boston. Or the Vineyard," she added, almost as an afterthought.

JJ shook her head. "Must be nice," she murmured.

Emily shrugged. "It has its perks. The house in the Vineyard, for example, is one of my favorite places to visit during the summer. If we can swing a few days off once it gets warm, I'd love to take you up there."

"I'd like that," JJ whispered. "But, first I have to pass the Ambassador's inspection. So," she said, taking a regretful step away from Emily as she held her arms out to the side, "how do I look?"

Emily smiled, holding JJ's gaze captive as she answered, "Breathtaking."

"You didn't even look."

"I ogled you for quite a while before you noticed me," Emily replied. "Trust me, Jareau. You. Are. Stunning."

"I'm wearing jeans and a sweater."

"It doesn't matter," Emily retorted as she leaned in and kissed her softly.

JJ rolled her eyes. "Fine, but will your mother approve?"

Emily grinned. "Are you done in here?"

"Yes."

"Then let's go see her and find out." Emily reached out and gave JJ's hand a playful tug, stopping when she felt JJ tug back against her hand and refusing to move. "What's up?"

"Seriously, Em. Is this okay?"

Emily sighed and nodded. "You're perfect. Trust me. I'm just wearing jeans and a sweater, aren't I?"

"I guess," JJ hedged, turning back to the mirror and giving herself one last look. Her hair was good, makeup done, her clothes were clean, it was as good as it was going to get. "Okay. Let's go."


JJ swallowed nervously as Emily pulled to a stop in the brick driveway of a sprawling Tudor mansion tucked in off Garfield Street in the middle of residential Georgetown. The façade was impeccable, the beams across the exterior painted a deep, rich brown which contrasted beautifully with the light cream of the rest of the upper half of the exterior and complemented the weathered brick that went from ground level to about where she imagined the ceiling of the first floor. The wood shingle roof was equally beautiful, which she found interesting because she had never before looked at a house's roof as having any character, but the variegated color of the shingles, from nearly white to rich and dark, gave an added dimension and character to the already magnificent house.

"You grew up here?" JJ asked, not looking at Emily as she let her eyes travel from the house itself to the immaculately landscaped grounds surrounding it.

Emily, who had been watching JJ's reaction to the house intently, nodded. "Yes. Well, when we were in DC, anyways."

"It's beautiful," JJ murmured.

Emily smiled. "You want to see the inside, or would you prefer to sit in the car all evening? I'm sure we probably have about an hour or so before the Ambassador looks out that bay window there and notices us. You wanna make out?"

JJ laughed and turned to look at Emily who was relaxed in her seat and wearing an impish grin. "While that does sound fun, I would prefer to not be found necking in your car by your mother."

"I was thinking more along the lines of tonsil hockey with generous amounts of groping, but necking works too," Emily quipped.

"Put it back in your pants, Prentiss." JJ shook her head. "And, thank you."

Emily smiled and reached out to run a soft finger down the line of JJ's jaw and across her lips. "You're welcome. Are you feeling more relaxed about all this now?"

"A little. How did you know?"

Emily shrugged. "I know you. When you get nervous about something you suck the corner of your lower lip into your mouth and kind of worry at it."

"Damn profilers," JJ grumbled playfully.

"You love it," Emily challenged.

JJ smiled and leaned across the center console, reaching out with her right hand to pull Emily to her. Thin fingers threaded themselves into soft, dark silk as she whispered, "I love you," before sealing it with a kiss that was neither chaste nor overly passionate, but just right to convey the sincerity of the emotions behind her words.

Emily smiled as she pulled back from the kiss, nuzzling JJ's cheek with her nose as she rested her forehead against the blonde's. "I love you. And, um…"

"What?"

"My mother's standing on the front porch watching us."

"Goddammit!" JJ grumbled, unable to keep from smiling as she realized that the Ambassador did, in fact, catch them kissing in the car like a couple of teenagers.

"If it's any consolation," Emily chuckled. "At least she's not wearing her I'm so disappointed in you scowl." Because this is so not being discreet, she couldn't help thinking.

"Is it too late to just go home?"

"Yup, she's seen us," Emily said as she cracked open her door. "Here we go," she muttered under her breath as she climbed out of the car. She gave her mother a small wave of greeting as she quickly rounded the front of the SUV to get JJ's door for her.

"Thank you," JJ murmured as she climbed out of the car.

"My pleasure," Emily answered softly, purposefully reaching down to take JJ's hand in her own. "You'll be fine, sweetheart."

JJ took a deep breath in through her nose and held it for a moment before letting it out slowly. "I love you."

"I love you too, Jennifer," Emily murmured as they neared the brick porch occupied by the Ambassador.

Elizabeth Prentiss smiled as she watched her daughter and JJ approach. She could tell that the young blonde was nervous and, truth be told, she liked that. Nervousness told her that this wasn't just a fling – that she really was interested in Emily and was genuinely concerned about making a good impression. "Emily, dear, thank you for coming. That is quite a bruise you have," she noted, reaching out and turning her daughter's face to the side for a better look. She had only heard of the injury over the phone after Emily had already returned home to Quantico a week ago and, as she'd been unable to visit Emily in person before now due to her daughter's schedule and her own meetings regarding her upcoming move to London, this was her first chance to actually see the damage done first-hand.

Emily smiled and pulled away from her mother's touch. "It was a lot more impressive last week."

"I'm sure it was," Elizabeth replied. "Do you think you should make an appointment with Doctor Greenup to have him take a look at it?"

Emily shook her head. "No, mother. I don't need to see a plastic surgeon for it. The doctors at the hospital where I was treated after the incident did a good job, there shouldn't be a scar."

The Ambassador didn't look convinced, but let the matter drop. She had long since given up arguing with Emily when it came to doctors and instead turned her attention to her daughter's new beau. "Forgive me Agent Jareau, I was distracted by Emily's injury. It's nice to see you again," she said, tipping her head in greeting even as she held her hand out toward the blonde.

"JJ is fine, ma'am," JJ replied formally as she shook the older Prentiss' hand. "And that's more than understandable. Thank you for having me."

"Mother," Emily said softly, stepping closer to JJ and placing a hand on the small of the younger woman's back.

Elizabeth smirked at her daughter's actions, quietly pleased at the diplomatic way Emily was making her feelings known. The tilt of Emily's head, the tone of her voice, the protective touch she was showing all told her that her daughter cared very much for the blonde's well-being. "JJ it is. Please, call me Elizabeth. This one is certainly in her over-protective mode, isn't she?" she drawled, hooking a thumb in Emily's direction as she turned her attention back onto her daughter.

JJ felt the way Emily tensed at her mother's comment and leaned back into the hand at her back, silently letting the brunette know that she both recognized her annoyance and appreciated her protection. She didn't think it that protection was entirely necessary at this point, but she did like knowing that Emily was looking out for her.

Unbeknownst to both women, Elizabeth had, quite astutely, picked up on their silent conversation and it only served to further support her earlier conclusion. JJ was, indeed, good for her daughter. "Why don't you two come inside where it's a little warmer," she said as she turned and opened the front door. "Gerald is finishing up the dinner preparations now," she shared as they all filed into the foyer. "I thought we might have a glass of wine and catch up beforehand?"

"That would be fine, mother," Emily answered.

"JJ," Elizabeth addressed the blonde directly, "is there any particular wine you prefer?"

JJ nodded. "I generally prefer a glass of red."

"Merlot, Cabernet, Zinfandel, Syrah?" the Ambassador offered genially.

"A glass of Cabernet sounds lovely; thank you, ma'am."

"It's Elizabeth," the Ambassador corrected her warmly. "Now. Why don't you two hang up your coats and I'll go into the parlor and pour us some wine."

Emily nodded her understanding and waited until her mother had disappeared down the hall before she turned toward JJ with a smile. "She likes you."

JJ frowned. "How can you tell?" she asked as she took off her coat and handed it to Emily who was waiting with a hanger.

"She told you to call her Elizabeth," Emily explained as she hung JJ's jacket up in the closet before doing the same with her own.

"Well, I guess I should be happy she didn't say anything about us kissing in her driveway, huh?" JJ said softly, not sure of the acoustics of the house and not wanting her voice to carry.

Emily nodded. "That was another positive development, yes," she agreed. She closed the door to the closet and turned to JJ, reaching out to pull the blonde into a light embrace. "You okay?"

JJ smiled and buried her face in the crook of Emily's neck. "I am," she answered softly as she relaxed into her.

"Good," Emily murmured, pressing a soft, lingering kiss to the blonde's brow before pulling back with a sigh. "Come on, my love. Let's get going before the Ambassador comes out here and finds us kissing in her foyer."

JJ laughed and nodded as she reached for Emily's hand. "Lead the way."

Emily lifted their joined hands to her mouth and brushed her lips across JJ's knuckles as they started down the hall. To fill the silence between them she started playing amateur tour guide, pointing out the different rooms and watching JJ's face as the blonde took it all in.

"And, here's the parlor," Emily said as she steered them into the brightly lit space. The room faced south so, even with the late hour, what sun there was left in the sky still streamed through the bank of windows that lined the far wall and overlooked the backyard. She nodded at her mother who was at the small bar tucked into the back of the space pouring three generous glasses of wine as she smoothly directed JJ toward the couch that faced the windows.

JJ allowed Emily to guide her over to one of the large, cream-colored sofas and, as she sat down, she allowed herself a cursory sweep of the room. The white wainscoting along the bottom portion of the walls contrasted perfectly with the warm butter tone of the upper portion, and the dark maroon rug that centered the space served well to anchor the room nicely. It was warm and welcoming, and she found herself instantly relaxing.

Emily watched her mother approach as she sat beside JJ, close enough to provide indirect support without sitting close enough that they were actually touching.

"Here you go JJ," Elizabeth said as she handed the blonde a glass. "It's a 2005 Shafer Cabernet, from California."

JJ nodded as she reached for the glass, thinking that it was somewhat amusing that the Ambassador felt it necessary to share the vintage with her. "Thank you."

"My pleasure," Elizabeth replied. "Emily, here you are, dear."

"Thank you, mother," Emily said as she took her glass, obediently lifting it toward the light and giving the liquid a swirl to appraise the color. She was familiar with the winery, and knew that they were reputed to produce an excellent wine, though it wasn't one she would buy for herself because she thought the price of $250 per bottle was more than a little ridiculous.

JJ, who knew better than to pretend the level of familiarity with wine that Emily was displaying, instead opted to just take a sip of the rich, burgundy liquid. "Oh my," she murmured after her first taste. "This is amazing."

Elizabeth smiled and nodded. "It is one of my favorites, I'm glad you like it."

"Very nice, mother," Emily noted. "Strong blackberry and licorice tones-" she took another sip "-and is that a hint of cassis?"

"That summer in France served you well." Elizabeth nodded. "Very good, dear."

Emily smirked at the verbal pat on the head and nodded as she lifted her glass in a silent toast. Her mother might be pushing the majority of her buttons, but she knew just how to hide it. "So, London again, I hear. Are you excited to go back?"

JJ relaxed back into the couch and crossed her legs, fingering the stem of her glass as she listened to Emily and her mother compare notes on Great Britain – which restaurants they enjoyed, small memories of events that had occurred while they had lived there. She liked learning more about Emily's childhood, and the Ambassador did make an effort to include her in the conversation as much as possible, but she would have enjoyed herself more if Emily had been behaving more as her Emily instead of the perfectly polite daughter of an Ambassador. Even so, the time passed quickly and it wasn't long before a small, gray-haired woman politely interrupted their conversation to inform them all that dinner was ready.

Elizabeth smiled as she led the way into the dining room. "JJ, darling, I hope we didn't bore you."

"Not at all." JJ assured the Ambassador. "London is on my list of places that I'd like to go someday, so I found the entire conversation quite interesting."

"You've never been to London?" Emily asked as she pulled a chair out for JJ, stoically refusing to react to her mother's knowing little smirk as she helped push the chair back in.

JJ shrugged and turned to look at Emily. "I've never been to Europe."

"Well, you'll have to have Emily take you then," Elizabeth drawled as she settled in at the head of the table. "Oh, Emily, dear, could you have Marie bring in the bottle of wine that I left open on the bar in the parlor? And perhaps another one?" she asked sweetly, knowing full well that there was no way Emily would ever ask Marie to do anything for her that she could do for herself.

Emily shook her head. "I'll just go get it, mother. You left the open bottle on the bar; where do you keep the others – in the kitchen, or the basement?"

"That would be lovely, dear. They're in the kitchen." The Ambassador nodded her thanks and waited until her daughter was out of the room before she turned her attention to the lovely blonde with whom she had so far been impressed. "So, JJ, how long have you been dating my daughter?"

JJ sat up straighter in her chair, pushing her shoulders back and assuming the same rigid posture Emily had been showing all evening. "We've been dating for a little more than a week," she answered, holding the Ambassador's eye confidently. And so the grilling begins.

Elizabeth smiled and purposefully eased her body into a relaxed posture that was the exact opposite of the younger woman's, silently giving off the message that she was the one in control of the conversation. "Have you two known each other since she joined the Behavioral Analysis Unit?"

JJ recognized the Ambassador's ploy for what it was and had to give the older woman credit for the maneuver even though she recognized it for what it was – a warning. "Yes ma'am. I was actually the agent assigned to walk her through some of the team's protocol and procedures."

"And you two are serious," the Ambassador presumed, lifting her wine glass off the table and swirling the liquid around inside the glass languidly. "I'm assuming things between you are serious if she's already bringing you to meet me." She's never brought anyone home to meet me before now, so you must be very special indeed, Ms. Jareau.

JJ smiled politely. "I won't answer for Emily, ma'am, that's her place, but I can tell you that I myself am very serious. I had been in love with your daughter for quite a while before we ever happened, and I have no intention of doing anything to hurt her. When I look at Emily I see my future, and I will do everything in my power to see that she is happy and feels loved."

Elizabeth nodded thoughtfully as she tried to come up with a polite response to the blonde's opening gambit. She would never say so, but the guts JJ showed in answering her directly instead of cowering before her went a long way toward earning her full approval. "Does that future include marriage? I know Washington DC, for example, recognizes same-sex marriages as being legal."

JJ bit the inside of her cheek to keep from smiling at Elizabeth's question, knowing that the Ambassador had thrown it out there to see if it would knock her off her game. Emily really wasn't kidding the other day when she said I should treat her mother as if she were a reporter. "I would like to be married someday, yes."

"To Emily?" The Ambassador clarified.

JJ fought the urge to roll her eyes as she answered, "Yes."

Elizabeth pursed her lips as she studied JJ carefully. "Do you want children?"

JJ nodded. "I would very much like to have children someday."

"You do realize that Emily comes from money, that there are certain… responsibilities she must adhere to due to my position in government."

Yes, we all know that you're an Ambassador, JJ thought sardonically even as she relaxed her posture, using that nonverbal cue to tell the Ambassador that she was not going to be scared off, and offered Elizabeth her sweetest smile. "I do. And while I understand and respect those responsibilities, I will not hide my love for her, ma'am."

Realizing that the blonde was not going to be rattled when it came to questions about her and Emily's relationship, the Ambassador changed tactics. It was, after all, her motherly duty to grill any of her daughter's potential suitors and, as she'd never had the chance to do so before, she found herself rather enjoying it. "What is it that your parents do, Agent Jareau?"

"My father is a teacher at East Allegheny High School and my mother is a homemaker," JJ stated in a proud, matter-of-fact tone.

"Teaching is a noble profession." The Ambassador nodded. "Certainly one that is underappreciated and extremely underpaid, in my opinion. You do know that Emily has several rather large trust funds?"

JJ shrugged and opted to not point out that being a homemaker is an equally underappreciated job. "I assumed as much, but I didn't know for sure until you just told me. It's not something I worry about."

The Ambassador cast a dubious eye at the young blonde. "You don't worry about money?"

"No ma'am." JJ shook her head and reached for her glass, which still had a sip of wine left in the bottom. "I have a good job that I love to do, and have always handled my money wisely. I don't need Emily's money, ma'am; I just need Emily," she said, holding the Ambassador's eye as she lifted her glass to her lips. It looked to her, for a moment, as if Emily's mother was going to say something more, she was willing to bet it would have been something about a pre-nup, but the profiler reappeared in the doorway holding two bottles of wine.

"Here we are," Emily announced as she set the uncorked bottles onto the table between them all. "Marie is going to be bringing the salads out in a moment."

"Excellent," Elizabeth replied as she sat up straighter in her chair.

Emily nodded absently as she sat down in her chair beside JJ. Ignoring her mother's look, she placed her hand on the blonde's thigh as she leaned in and whispered against her ear, "I'm sorry, Jen. I shouldn't have left you alone. Are you okay?"

JJ nodded and smiled as she turned to look Emily in the eye, knowing that the brunette would need that visual proof that she really was okay. "I'm fine," she answered simply, her tone light, as if she and the Ambassador had been discussing topics no more interesting than the weather.

Emily could see that JJ really was okay; the blonde's posture was relaxed and she had that twinkle in her eye that she always got whenever she went toe-to-toe with a particularly vicious reporter and won, which told her that whatever had happened in her absence had been handled. She nodded slowly, giving JJ a look that told the blonde that she would like to know the specifics of what had happened once they were alone again, as she whispered, "Good."

"And here we are ma'am," Marie, the housekeeper and Gerald's wife, called out as she entered the room with three plates balanced expertly in her hands. "Spinach salad with mushrooms and red onion in a warm bacon dressing."

Emily smiled warmly at the older woman. "Thank you, Marie. It looks wonderful."

"Yes, thank you," JJ echoed Emily's sentiment.

Marie smiled at them both and bobbed her head in thanks as she set a plate down in front of Elizabeth before she backed slowly out of the room, well aware of the Ambassador's belief that servants should be seen and not heard. Emily watched the matronly woman go before she turned her attention back onto her mother. "We saw Charlie Stone last night," she said as she stabbed at the spinach leaves on her plate.

"How is Charles doing?" Elizabeth asked politely as she, too, began picking at her food.

"Good. His vineyard is really starting to take off. You should really have your assistant order some bottles for you to try. He's done some amazing things with his Pinot. Very unique flavor blends. JJ really liked his Cabernet, as well."

"I'll get Jonathan to make a call then," Elizabeth murmured. "Is he still writing?"

"Yes," Emily answered simply.

"Have you read his books?" JJ asked Emily's mother, intent on showing both Prentiss women that she had not been scared off by her time alone with the Ambassador. "They are quite good."

"I haven't," Elizabeth confessed. "Perhaps I should look to pick up one to read on the flight to London."

The rest of the dinner passed in an excruciatingly polite hum of conversation that was entirely superficial and, after both JJ and Emily begged off dessert, it was thankfully over. Fake smiles were shared over more meaningless chatter as the couple slipped back into their coats and it was with a quick handshake for JJ and a painfully distant embrace for Emily, that they were off, both happy to have the evening behind them.

"I'm sorry," Emily apologized as they pulled out of the drive under the Ambassador's watchful eye.

JJ shot the brunette a look of confusion. "Why?"

"For leaving you alone with my mother," Emily explained. "I'd promised I wouldn't leave your side."

JJ shook her head and reached out to take Emily's hand in her own. "It wasn't that bad."

Emily sucked her lips between her teeth and stared hard out the windshield at the night-darkened street. Honestly, she didn't know why her mother's polite distance bothered her so much more tonight than any other night she had subjected herself to her mother's audience. "But it wasn't good, either."

"Emily," JJ sighed. "Sweetie, it was fine. I was honestly expecting much worse."

"What did she say to you when I left to fetch the wine?"

"Nothing that I wasn't anticipating," JJ answered, softly running her thumb over the back of Emily's hand. "She asked if I was looking to marry you, and if I wanted children. I said 'yes' to both those lines of questioning, by the way," she teased, hoping to ease some of the brunette's obvious concern.

Which it did. Emily chuckled and lifted their joined hands to her lips to press a soft kiss to the back of JJ's hand. "I say 'yes' too," she said softly. "But there's more, isn't there? You had that look in your eye that you get after a particularly tough press conference, so I know there was more. If she insulted you…"

"Em," JJ interrupted. "Put the brakes on your imagination there, honey. She was just wanting to make sure that I wasn't after your money."

Emily rolled her eyes. "Right. Because nobody would ever want to be with me for me."

"Hey, hey, hey! I never said that," JJ argued gently, more than a little surprised at the way her lover was reacting to the evening. "Emily, sweetie, you know that's not true."

"Yeah," Emily sighed as she pulled to a stop at a red light. "Sometimes I think she feels that way though. I never could measure up to what she wanted me to be."

JJ took advantage of the pause in traffic and reached out with her free hand to physically turn Emily's face so that the brunette was looking at her. "Who you are is everything I need. I love you because you're you. I don't need your money; I just need you, Em," she whispered, her eyes focused on Emily's. "And I told her that too. If it makes her happy when the time comes, I'll sign-"

"No," Emily interrupted her, knowing that one of the next words to come out of the blonde's mouth was going to be 'pre-nup'. "No. I will never ask you to do that. I don't want you to do that. I know you aren't just with me because I have a couple of trust funds, Jen, I do. I'm sorry. It's just… she just knows how to get to me still."

JJ noticed out of the corner of her eye that the light had changed and she sat back in her seat so Emily could continue driving. She sighed and shook her head. A moving vehicle was not the place for this conversation, but she could tell that Emily needed it. "Emily, you are an amazing woman. You're smart, funny, ridiculously sexy with your off-center belt and Kevlar vest-" she smiled "-and anybody, anybody would be blessed to have your love. Please know that I don't take it lightly or for granted. I love you, Emily Prentiss. For so many reasons, I love you. So don't let her take that away from us. Don't let her take that away from you, or from me. Because I do feel blessed to know that I'm the one in your heart, and I promise you I will do everything in my power to show you every day exactly how much I love, honor, and cherish you."

"I love you so much Jennifer," Emily whispered as the tears that had built in her eyes at JJ's words spilled over.

JJ smiled and reached across the space separating them to run a loving thumb over Emily's cheek, brushing her tears away. "I know, sweetheart. I love you too."

Emily smiled weakly and squeezed JJ's hand that was still wrapped around her own. By the time she'd pulled into JJ's driveway, her cheeks had long since dried and her heart was warmed by the comforting presence of the woman beside her. She cast a shy, thankful smile at JJ as she unbuckled her seatbelt and reached for her door. "Let me walk you up."

JJ shook her head. "You're coming inside with me."

Emily smiled. "I am?"

"You are." JJ nodded. "I am going to take you to bed, Emily Prentiss, and show you exactly how much I love you."

"I didn't bring any clothes for work tomorrow."

"You can borrow something of mine if you need to," JJ stated, both her voice and her gaze serious.

Emily looked down for a moment before looking up to meet JJ's eyes. "I have my go-bag in the back, if I could maybe borrow a shirt?"

JJ smiled warmly. "Of course."

Emily licked her lips and nodded as she climbed out of the car and she heard JJ do the same. They met up at the back of her SUV where they both retrieved their bags and Emily smiled at the soft hand that JJ rested on the small of her back as she closed the hatch.

"Come on," JJ murmured, pushing lightly against Emily's back as the brunette used the keyless remote to lock the car. "Let's go inside."

 

27

The soft yellow light from the hall filtered through the open doorway as JJ and Emily stood in each other's arms at the side of the blonde's bed. The house around them was silent, almost as if it was a sentient being capable of understanding exactly how much the two women needed this time together. And they did. JJ still didn't quite know where the brunette's reactions to the dinner had come from, she really didn't think it had been a terribly horrendous 'meet the parents' experience and had been more than expecting the grilling she got, but she did recognize the fact that this moment, right here, was an opportunity to prove to Emily how very much she loved her.

Emily sighed as she buried her face in the crook of JJ's neck, breathing in the smaller woman's scent, soaking in her warmth. "Thank you," she whispered, her words dancing lightly over the sensitive skin of JJ's throat. So many thoughts fit into those two simple words: thank you for loving me; thank you for not letting me slip into the melancholy I normally do after leaving my mother's presence; thank you for being you and being here with me.

JJ smoothed her hands over Emily's back, comforting with a touch as she whispered, "There is nothing you need to thank me for."

Emily took a deep breath and nodded, not necessarily out of agreement but out of understanding. She knew JJ honestly believed that she had done nothing worthy of being thanked. She lifted her head to look the blonde in the eye and she felt her heart stumble in her chest at the absolute love and understanding she saw staring back at her.

JJ crooked one corner of her mouth up in a reassuring smile as she leaned in and claimed Emily's lips in a kiss that was slow and gentle, tender and loving and everything the brunette needed. "I love you," she whispered as her hands slipped down to Emily's hips, her thumbs automatically slipping under soft cashmere to rub against even softer skin.

Emily managed a half-smile and a nod in response before she accepted another kiss from the blonde. The embarrassment she had over her behavior in the car began to fade with each tender caress until she felt her body beginning to come alive as JJ's lips moved leisurely against her own. It was a kiss that seemed to go on forever. It wasn't rushed or hungry, it was just a simple grasping of lips, a light touching of tongues. It was a kiss to soothe and reassure rather than arouse, it was one that was meant to convey love rather than lust. And it did so perfectly. She sighed when JJ's lips left her own to blaze a slow, almost reverent trail across her cheek and she let her eyes fall shut, blocking out the rest of the world as she focused on that finite connection of her love's lips against her skin. She turned her head to the side, giving JJ what the blonde so obviously desired, and shivered as she felt warm, even breaths fall across her ear.

"I love you," JJ murmured, her words soft and quiet as a butterfly's wings.

Emily let out a shaky breath and her fingers flexed against JJ's sides as the blonde's words ghosted over her very soul, soothing away a lifetime of insecurity and feelings of unworthiness and replacing those dark feelings with ones of acceptance, love, and affection. "I love you," she breathed softly.

JJ let her own eyes close for a moment at the timbre of Emily's voice as she brushed her lips over Emily's ear. "Let me show you exactly how much I love you?" she asked quietly, her smile growing as Emily groaned at her request. Emily's cheek rubbed against hers as the brunette nodded and she began laying light, feather-soft kisses back across the older woman's jaw as she began working Emily's sweater up her body. Their mouths met just as her hands reached the brunette's exquisite breasts, and she eagerly swallowed the moan that spilled from Emily's lips as she let her thumbs brush over the brunette's hidden nipples. She took her time kissing Emily slowly, deeply, and playing with the satin-covered mounds under her hands, intent on taking this slow, determined to make Emily feel every iota of love she held for her.

JJ's lips quirked up in a smile as she broke their string of soft, tender kisses so she could ease Emily's sweater up off over her head, letting her eyes tell the brunette exactly how much she loved her. She had used her words when they were in the car and, while she made her living with her words and knew how to use them to convey exactly what she wanted to get across, now wasn't the time for spoken language. What she felt for Emily went so much deeper than words could ever adequately describe and she knew that this was the time for her to convey her love for the brunette with a kiss, with a touch, to make Emily feel how much she was loved.

The emotion swirling in JJ's darkening gaze was quite literally breathtaking, never before had Emily understood so much when not a word had been spoken. "Jennifer," she murmured as she reached for the hem of the younger woman's sweater.

JJ licked her lips and obligingly lifted her arms, allowing Emily to remove her top as well. They came together again in a quiet crush of satin and skin and denim; their hands roaming slowly over familiar curves as their lip met in a kiss that was so achingly tender that it brought tears to Emily's eyes. Clothes were removed between kisses until there were no more barriers between them and JJ smiled reassuringly as she lowered Emily to her bed with a gentle push and a hushed, "Let me love you."

Emily laid her head on the pillows and silently beckoned JJ to her with a look, her eyes telling the blonde that she was hers to do with as she pleased, and she sighed when she felt her lover's lithe form cover her own. Their lips met in another tender caress as hands began to glide slowly over skin, and when the kiss finally broke she felt her heart skip a beat at the unspoken promises she saw swirling in the stormy blue eyes staring back at her.

JJ shifted her weight over Emily as she began laying a line of kisses over the brunette's jaw before slipping down to the graceful column of her throat. She took her time, making sure to brush her lips over each centimeter of skin on her path, making sure that every sensitive spot received a light lick or a quick nip. She brushed her lips back and forth over the defined edge of Emily's clavicles, from right to left, sweeping across the width of her lover's body before returning to the center where she traced the perimeter of the hollow of the brunette's throat with her tongue before laying a slow, wet, lingering kiss to the spot and continuing on, pleased with the way Emily had given herself over to her touch.

Emily moaned softly as JJ's lips began working their way down her chest. The feeling of each brush of lips against her skin was electric and the heat falling in waves from the blonde's mouth was a feeling she could drown in forever, but the most tortuously exquisite sensation she'd ever experienced was the feeling of JJ's lips and her breath combined with the softness of the hair slipping over her skin as she moved. Any one of those sensations alone would have been enough to drive her wild, all three combined was more than enough to render her incapable of cogent thought as her world condensed to the feeling of JJ's body against her own. The house could have been burning down around them and she wouldn't have noticed, she was that focused on each kiss, every caress, and the feeling of spun silk cascading over her skin.

She whimpered at the feeling of JJ's cheeks brushing against the insides of her breasts as the blonde kissed through that sculpted valley and she groaned as she felt the impossibly soft blanket of JJ's hair disappear. The loss was enough to drag her eyes open and what she saw tore a ragged moan from her lips. JJ had tucked her hair back behind her ears and was hovering over her right breast, her mouth open, her tongue extended.

JJ flashed her eyes up to look at Emily at the sound of the brunette's moan. She held those brown eyes captive as she lowered her mouth slowly, letting her breath fall against the sensitive dusky tip for a moment before she delivered that first, light lick to the nub.

Emily's eyes snapped shut at the feeling of JJ tonguing her nipple and she arched into the touch, wanting more, even as she grasped blindly with both hands at the pillow under her head.

JJ moaned softly at Emily's reaction, a fresh wave of arousal settling between her thighs at the vision before her, and she began lightly flicking her tongue over the very tip of the pebbled nub under her mouth. She traced its perimeter with the tip of her tongue slowly, each circuit somehow even slower than the last, loving the gasps and sighs that fell from Emily's mouth, before finally wrapping her lips around the nipple and sucking against it, the suction of her mouth no more firm than her earlier caresses.

Emily squeezed her eyes shut and tightened her grip on the pillow under her head as JJ lingered upon her breast, sucking, licking, occasionally delivering a surprising nip that sent currents of electricity straight to her groin. She became lost to the feeling of JJ's mouth against her and she whimpered wantonly when she felt that warmth, that heat disappear.

JJ hummed reassuringly as she brushed her lips back down over the swell of Emily's breast to press a kiss to the brunette's breastbone before gliding up the opposite slope to deliver similar attention to the breast she'd heretofore ignored, even as she covered the one she'd just ravished with her hand, squeezing the mound and flicking her thumb over the hard tip as she took its twin into her mouth.

"Oh god," Emily breathed as JJ's tongue began lashing lightly against her. "Fuck Jayj," she grunted as the force of the blonde's touch suddenly increased with a hard suck and a surprising pinch of fingers on one nipple and teeth on the other.

JJ smiled around the nipple between her lips as she soothed the nub with her tongue, enjoying the hardness of the tip, the way it felt against her tongue. It was with one last kiss, one final suck, that she brushed her lips back down over the inside of the brunette's breast to press another kiss to the hollow over her heart before she began working her way down her lover's body. She smiled and shook her head when she felt Emily try and open her legs for her; though that was her ultimate destination, she was in no hurry to get there. "Patience, my love," she whispered against trembling abs before continuing her tortuously slow path down the brunette's body. She smiled as she paused to dip a playful tongue into Emily's navel, tonguing the indention purposefully as she finally moved enough to allow the brunette to spread her legs.

Emily moaned as she cradled JJ between her thighs, her moan turning into a groan of disbelief as the blonde's mouth began ghosting down her inner thigh in the same excruciatingly slow manner. She spread herself wider as JJ's mouth moved further down her leg and she groaned when the blonde stopped her trek to pay closer attention to the erogenous zone behind her knee. "Please, Jennifer," she whimpered, somehow managing to spread her legs even further.

JJ moaned quietly at the brunette's wanton display but refused to be rushed, instead staying for a few moments longer than she'd intended to tease the back of the brunette's knee before continuing onward, or, downward, as the case was, to brush her lips over the swell of the older woman's calf muscle before sucking lightly against the area around her ankle. She smiled as she heard Emily sigh as she switched sides, her intent obvious as she began working her mouth back up the inside of the brunette's other leg. As she worked her way higher she had to make herself to slow down, had to force herself to take her time, because the sight of Emily so wet and swollen for her, the smell of her desire was just so damned inviting that her tongue literally ached to abandon the foreplay and just taste.

Emily groaned as JJ's mouth finally moved past her knee and began gliding over her inner thigh. Again she pleaded for JJ's touch, and again she was denied with a flick of a tongue against her skin and a hushed, "I know, Em."

And JJ did know, so even though she still made sure to lavish attention on every millimeter of skin on her path, she didn't linger any longer, instead pressing a soft kiss or a gentle nip to sensitive skin before she finally caved to each of their desires and ran her tongue in a line up the brunette's leg until her mouth was hovering above her center.

"Please," Emily groaned as JJ's breath fell across her in promising waves. So much heat, so much promise, if only that mouth would move closer to where she was aching to be touched. "Please, Jennifer."

JJ's eyes fluttered closed at the rough timbre of Emily's voice as she lowered her mouth to those most intimate lips. She lowered herself fully to the mattress between Emily's legs as she slipped her hands around the brunette's thighs to pull herself in closer. "Emily," she breathed as she closed that final distance separating them. She laid a long lick through the length of the brunette's folds, ending with a circuitous route around the bundle of nerves at the apex before taking it between her lips and suckling it gently.

Emily moaned long and low and deep as her hips began a steady tempo against JJ's mouth. She was eased higher and higher with every swirl of the blonde's tongue against her, wound that much tighter with every little suck, and it wasn't long before the heat coiled low in her hips began to spread through her body. Her blood was rushing through her veins, pounding in her ears, pounding so loudly that she couldn't even hear the litany of 'I love you's and 'Oh my god, Jennifer's falling from her lips. JJ brought her right to the edge and held her there with each purposefully gentle lick and suck and she groaned when the mouth that had been driving her to insanity disappeared.

JJ pulled back from Emily and waited for the brunette's eyes to find her own. It took perhaps only a couple of seconds before bewildered brown eyes sought her out and she smiled reassuringly as she said, "I love you, Emily Prentiss."

Emily smiled and released her hold on the pillow she'd been throttling to reach down with both hands for her lover. She sighed as JJ's fingers threaded through her own and blue eyes held her captive as she watched her lover's mouth dip back between her legs. She groaned and tightened her hold on JJ's hands, unable to tear her eyes away from the sight of JJ cradled between her thighs until it was with one last twirl of a tongue around her that she fell over the edge into release. Her eyes snapped shut as that first explosive wave crashed through her, her head falling back, her chest arching toward the ceiling as the coil of energy that had wound itself inside her snapped.

JJ tongued Emily's clit through the entirety of the brunette's orgasm before dipping her mouth down to lap lazily at the fruits of her labor for a moment until Emily tugged at her hands, urging her upwards. She laid one last lick, one last kiss to her lover's folds before untangling their hands and working her way back up the brunette's body. She smiled as insistent hands wrapped around her arms and guided her higher and moaned loudly when her mouth was claimed in a deep, hungry kiss, Emily's tongue thrusting its way through her lips to tangle with her own.

Emily groaned at the taste of herself on the blonde's mouth even as her body tingled with the aftereffects of her orgasm. Her fingers tangled themselves in JJ's hair, pulling the blonde into her as she plundered her mouth. "My god, Jen," she husked when the need for air forced them apart.

"I love you." JJ smiled.

Emily moaned and lifted her head off the pillow to claim JJ's lips in a tender kiss. "I love you too, sweetheart," she said as she ran the back of her right hand over the delicate slope of the blonde's cheek. "So much."

JJ dipped her head to kiss Emily again and smiled into the kiss as she felt the brunette pushing against her, trying to roll them over. "Hello," she breathed as she suddenly found herself on her back and looking up into a set of serious brown eyes.

Emily chuckled and settled her hips between the blonde's legs. "Hi," she murmured as she used her chin to turn JJ's head to the side so she could have unfettered access to the blonde's neck which she immediately began peppering with slow, lingering kisses, light, teasing sucks, and an occasional playful nip.

JJ moaned appreciatively as she threaded her fingers through Emily's hair, holding the older woman to her tenderly.

Emily smiled at the feeling of JJ's fingers massaging her scalp as she worked her way lower at a speed that was only marginally faster than how JJ had moved over her. She knew the blonde was already aroused, she could feel it hot and slick against her skin, but she wanted to make sure that JJ felt as loved as she had. Tomorrow they would be forced out of their little cocoon and back into the real world, the world where they were surrounded by death and destruction, and she wanted to make sure that the blonde had this night, this moment of an absolutely pure love to carry her through.

She brushed her fingers over JJ's sides as she licked at a straining nipple, teasing it for a moment before enveloping it in her mouth and sucking against it hungrily, bringing it to an even harder point inside her mouth before letting it fall from her lips so she could deliver similar attentions to the blonde's other breast.

JJ's eyes rolled back in her head as Emily finally left her chest and began working down her body, tracing indistinct patterns against her stomach with the tip of her tongue. "Em…"

Emily smiled. "I know, sweetheart," she assured her as she slid down the bed so that she was able to dip her tongue into the abundant pool of wetness between the blonde's thighs. She slipped her hands around JJ's legs to hold the blonde steady as she began to make love to her with her mouth, each brush of her lips an unspoken promise, every flick of her tongue a silent vow. She pulled JJ's legs open wider as she pulled herself in closer to take the blonde's clit between her lips and suckle it.

"Holy fuck, Em," JJ gasped at the feeling of the brunette's teeth raking carefully over her most sensitive spot.

"Too much?" Emily murmured.

"God, no. More baby… please… so close…" JJ panted, her words dissolving into a keening wail as Emily's mouth once again surrounded her, sucking and licking, dull teeth carefully pinching. She closed her eyes as the electricity from the brunette's touch ricocheted through her, pulsing in her veins, throbbing in her ears until with one last long, hard suck she was thrown over the edge screaming as her body trembled with her release.

Emily eased JJ through her orgasm, lovingly trying to extend it for as long as possible before she finally abandoned her position between the blonde's thighs to move up to her side and hold her close. She smiled when JJ, still lost in her afterglow, turned into her, burying her face in the crook of her neck.

"I love you," JJ husked against the sweaty column of Emily's throat.

"I love you, Jennifer," Emily murmured as she used her foot to lift the blankets they'd kicked to the foot of the bed up to her hand so she could cover them up. "Sleep, my love. You'll need your rest."

"Don' wanna go back to work," JJ mumbled petulantly.

Emily smiled and pressed a lingering kiss to the crown of the blonde's head. "Yes you do. We both love it too much to give it up."

"Love you more," JJ murmured.

"I know, sweetheart. I love you too. Now, sleep."

"You'll stay?" JJ asked, wrapping her arm around Emily's waist and pulling herself in closer.

"For as long as you'll have me."

"That's forever, you know," JJ pointed out sleepily.

Emily smiled. "I'm counting on it."

End of Part One

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