How fickle my heart and how woozy my eyes
- "Awake My Soul"; Mumford & Sons
It is the wedding that has been put off for much too long. It takes three years, a hostage situation and a bomb scare, but it happens. Jennifer Jareau and William LaMontagne Jr. are now officially husband and wife, and about damn time too.
The ceremony is short and sweet; pulled together in haste by the ever-skilled Garcia and Rossi, who manage to turn Dave's sprawling backyard into a place out of a dream. Everything's almost too perfect to believe, but they deserve it – after the day they've had.
It's nice to have a reminder that life can go right sometimes.
Hotch stands by the forefront, beside his son in his little suit and Beth. He smiles up at the pair exchanging vows; JJ has never looked so beautiful, and he feels nothing but happiness and pride for the woman. They've all come a long way, and his chest swells at the thought of JJ getting her happily after ever in the end.
He glances across the aisle, where Emily stands just about three feet away from him, staring up at the couple with an equally pleased smile. She looks absolutely gorgeous in her dress. It's never been appropriate for him to think of her in that way, but he can't help himself. Emily has always been a beautiful woman, and he finds that he can't seem to tear his eyes away from her pretty face.
Things…have changed since her return. He's tried so hard to deny them; pretend like nothing's fallen out of place, but in the reality of it all – the man is so lost in his thoughts and emotions that he does the only thing he can. He settles, because that's what people do when they don't know what their heart wants.
They settle because it's safe.
But how can he explain what he feels? About a subordinate, no less! How can he explain what he's felt from the moment he saw her lying in that hospital bed, fighting to breathe through that god awful tube in her throat? That he'd sensed the shift in his feelings long before the moment she came back? Long before his ex-wife's death, even?
How can he explain something he can't even understand?
As if realizing that his attention had diverted from the ceremony, Emily turns her head in his direction, a brief flash of surprise in her dark eyes when she catches him staring back at her. It's gone in a moment, and her mouth splits into a smile at him that has him blushing slightly under the soft lighting.
He notices something off though – there's a sadness that hides behind her smile, and when he returns it with a quiet, inquiring smile of his own, Emily tilts her head. It's neither an answer nor a denial.
It just is.
The ceremony ends, and they cheer and clap for the newly married couple. As he catches JJ's eye and gives her a warm, proud smile, his eyes go to the woman standing across him yet again, and amidst the rice and confetti and the cheering, Hotch sees the glimmer of sadness and uncertainty there yet again.
The reception dinner is flawlessly put together despite the short notice, as expected from the great David Rossi and his unseen minions, and things seem to fall in place. The team comes together in a brilliant show of happiness and contentment, each member exchanging hugs and kisses and laughs with the newlyweds. For a little while at least, the darkness they all see on a daily basis is forgotten.
Hotch takes his turn, hugging JJ tight and kissing her cheek. "You look lovely," he whispers to her, and JJ's blue eyes sparkle up at him as she pulls back to smile at him. Her small hands pat his chest, and then the radiant look on the woman's face seems to temper, and she glances behind them subtly.
He knows without turning that it's Emily hugging Will, laughing with the man about their day together. That's one thing he admires so strongly about her – Emily can find the light in any darkness, and it troubles him to think that no one has been able to find a light for her darkness.
"Take care of her, Hotch," JJ tells him quietly, hands smoothing out his lapels. She looks up at him with a sad, knowing smile. They both know something is happening, something that even they can't begin to understand, and it's something the woman might not come back from. "She's been…confused lately."
He nods his head mutely; it hasn't escaped him. But tonight is about JJ and Will, and the man fixes another broad smile at the woman and strokes her cheek with the back of his hand. "You do look beautiful," he murmurs fondly, and JJ blushes under his praise. Hotch smiles. "Will is a lucky man. I hope he knows that."
JJ confirms this with a nod, and they're separated by Morgan when the man comes up to steal the bride away for a hug and a kiss. Hotch looks over the crowd in search of the brunette, finding her eyes only briefly before he feels a hand on his back, and the moment is gone.
He stiffens, but Beth appears at his side. He manages a small, stiff smile at her curious glance, and his hand comes to rest of Jack's shoulder as the boy comes to press himself into his father's leg. The look on the woman's face tells him she's quite eager to be introduced to the team; to the people whom he considers his family, and with one last futile glance around in search of Emily, he concedes.
"Dave, you remember Beth…."
He finds her some time later, after he manages to sneak off away from Beth and the team. Morgan and Emily are missing, and Hotch feels just a touch of anxiety at the knowledge. Though the air between them has been cleared somewhat, Hotch can't help but feel the apprehension in his chest at leaving Emily alone with Morgan. This is particularly so because he doesn't trust Morgan not to aggravate whatever that is bothering Emily.
The man in question appears out of a room just off the foyer, and Hotch casts a tense look in his direction. There's something in Morgan's face that worries him, but the younger man gives him a smile, and Hotch returns it half-heartedly. It seems that both the men share the same feelings of melancholy for unspoken reasons, and Morgan jerks his head slightly into the room he's left behind. He knows what his Unit Chief is looking for, or rather who.
Hotch manages a more genuine smile now, and the thanks is accepted by the younger man as he disappears. When he catches sight of the woman in question, he knows immediately at first glance, something bothers her. He has to remind himself to breathe when he sees her standing there in her dress; she looks beautiful even in the yellow lighting of Dave's spare study. She's nursing a glass of something he can't identify, and there's a nervous look in her eyes that has him frowning in concern.
"How're you feeling?" He's testing her; after her first 'bad day', he's always been keeping an eye open for her tell, and when she sucks in a heavy breath and nods her head, he knows it's bad.
"That bad?" he asks her, but there's a rhetorical tone to his voice. He's not really asking her because he knows she'll deny it, as Emily is wont to do. She doesn't like telling them she's not okay; she's not a skilled profiler and former Interpol agent for nothing. Compartmentalizing is what she does best, and having to open up to him scares her. She's not used to it.
She looks at him with those wide, dark eyes – a doe caught in the headlights of his concern. "What?" The question comes in a stutter, and she's gripping the glass tight in her hand as he takes a step closer to her, tucking his hands in his pocket. He needs to keep them in his pockets because reaching out and touching her is out of the question.
He offers her a smile, and despite himself, it comes out somewhat mischievous. "That's your tell."
"It is?" she exclaims disbelievingly. "For how long?" she demands, incredulous at the fact that she's been called out on it – for a very long time, Emily had thought that she had been able to fool the elite BAU members, but it's obvious that she hasn't.
He tucks his hands in his back pockets, humming in thought. "Um, for about as long as I've known you?" he tells her, smiling at the perplexed look on her face at the knowledge. It's not very hard to read her, not for him; the famous Emily Prentiss and her little compartmentalization boxes can't hide much from him. There's just something about her face – about everything about her – that he seems to be able to tap into without much effort; as if there's some sort of invisible connection between them that lets him tap into her mind, and her into his.
He's learned for a long time now, that Emily Prentiss is not like any other woman he's known.
Emily looks away with an eye roll, scoffing at the man when he lets out a quiet chuckle at her disgruntled look, turning back to him with eyes the gleam with a cheekiness that he finds that he misses seeing there. "Well you have one too." She sounds like a petulant six year old, and it makes him laugh.
"I do?" He's delighted at her giggling reply of the affirmative, tucking his hands in his pockets against because the temptation to reach out and touch her is becoming overwhelming.
Emily fiddles with her glass, the drink long gone because she's needed it badly for her nerves. She knows he sees it; she's not very subtle with her fidgeting fingers, but she smiles anyway because it makes him smile, and he's very handsome when he smiles. It makes her sad to think about him, but she pushes on. "Yeah – only I'm not going to tell you what it is, or you'll stop doing it."
And then I wouldn't be able to bring you out of the darkness in your mind.
He smiles indulgently, dimples showing clear on his face as he looks at her with a gentle fondness, loving and hating the way she smiles at him. It makes it so much harder for him to keep away from her. He sobers quickly, fixing a steady look on her when she begins to lick the corner of her mouth again. "Do you want to talk about it?" he offers her gently.
There's a hesitation in her eyes, but she nods her head as if she wants to convince not only him, but herself as well. "Absolutely," she replies, and she smiles at him again because she wants to. But when he moves to speak, and his hand reaches out to guide her away to somewhere more private, she shakes her head at him. "But not now," she adds quietly; it's a plea and a request – let's not do this on JJ's night.
Please don't make me do this around all of these people.
"First thing tomorrow?" he offers; tomorrow means she will be in the office. Tomorrow means she will still be here.
She nods her head gratefully, and her eyes fall from his face down to the ground behind him. "It's a date." The words are barely louder than a whisper, but he hears it as clear as crystal. He knows he shouldn't feel the warmth spreading in his chest, but he does.
What's a man to do when he's in love with a woman he can't have?
"Okay," he whispers in return, and his eyes narrow slightly as he peers at her face intently. The sadness there is overwhelming, and it frightens him more because she's not making an effort to hide it from him. That kind of resignation is never good; especially not when it comes from a woman as stubborn as Emily Prentiss – the woman whose picture one would find beside the definition of 'independent woman' in the dictionary.
And for whatever reason, a reason he wants to slam his head into the nearest wall for, he gives her one last speaking look, and turns away from her. He gives her space because that's what he always does, but as he walks away from her, he can't help but feel expectant, as if he knows that Emily wants to tell him now; she wants to say something to him, but she doesn't. Instead the woman's heels fall in step behind his, and they leave it at that for now.
There are guests and dinner calling to them.
He watches her dance. He can't help himself – no man in his right mind can avoid the need to watch her body move; she's so damned beautiful and perfect moving on the dance floor that he can't help but feel a primal swell of possessive male jealousy in his chest when Reid pulls Emily close and dances foolishly with her. It warms him to the core to see her happy and content with the team; he knows it was hard for her to re-integrate herself into the team, and for them to really accept her once more, and he's glad the things have tided over.
He doesn't get to watch for long though, because of the woman in his arms; the woman he brought to the ceremony – the woman who is watching his face with a curious look.
He gives Beth a tight, fleeting smile and dips her, but it's a stiff and unfeeling act, and they both feel it.
Beth taps his shoulder gently, and he raises her back on her feet obediently. "I need the bathroom," she whispers, and doesn't spare him a glance as she spins on her heels and walks carefully around the makeshift dance floor, eyes trailing the other pretty brunette almost jealously as she goes.
He's almost ready to chase after her; to apologize for his behavior and to persuade her to dance with him again, but something inside him holds him firm on the dance floor. Why waste such an opportunity that will most definitely never befall him again? He doesn't really want to chase after Beth, really, he wants to stay on the floor and steal Emily from Dave, where the older man is now twirling the laughing woman expertly.
The man is now torn between his obligations and his desires – the irony doesn't escape him; it's an age-old decision to make, and he thinks that he's made too many fool decisions in his life to let the one good thing he has left slip him by.
He can't – he won't let her pass him by. Not again.
Hotch steps up to Dave and Emily, a bare touch on the older man's back and a smile on his face as they both turn to him in surprise. "I hope you won't mind if I steal the lady away from you for a little spin," he says, and Rossi steps aside graciously, smiling knowingly at the pair as Aaron takes Emily's hand and rests his hand on her hip, pulling her to him.
"She's all yours," Dave tells him, and there's a suggestion there that slips by them, but the older man is already off, sweeping JJ's mother into a twirl around the dance floor.
Emily smiles up at Hotch as he rests his hand on her hip comfortably, her hand fitting into his larger one effortlessly as they begin to sway to the music around them. There's a look of contentment on her face as he guides her across the dance floor, a lack of tension in her body as they move seamlessly with each other. It amazes him at how perfectly she fits to his body, as if she's always been molded to fit him; in his arms and his movements.
As they dance and laugh and he twirls her, as if the rest of the world doesn't matter – not right now, and not in this moment, unknowing eyes watch with a fond smile and amusement as Hotch dips Emily, effortlessly this time. JJ's mother smiles as watches the pair from Agent Rossi's arms, and she leans in to whisper in his ear amidst the laughs and the chatter and the music.
"How long have they been married?" she asks him curiously – it's rare to see such symmetry nowadays. They must've been married for a long while now.
Rossi arches an eyebrow at her and glances over to the dark haired pair, oblivious to the watching eyes. He smiles knowingly at them and turns JJ's mother away from the couple. "Longer than they realize, Sandy. For much longer than they realize."
Their dance slows to a gentle sway; Hotch guides Emily in a slow circle as he licks his lips and brings his mouth closer to her ear. He doesn't think she'd want the others to hear this. "Easter called me," he murmurs lowly, and he feels Emily stiffen in his hold before her eyes are tracking up his face questioningly. "He told me about the offer in London." There is no contempt in his voice, no judgment – there is just a statement.
Emily licks her lips, her gaze lowering to their shuffling feet nervously as his hand squeezes hers gently, reassuring and encouraging. "I don't know if I want it," she confesses to him quietly, and he remains silent as she finally summons the courage to look him in the eye; the hazel of his eyes showing through the lighting of the garden dance floor. "But I'm not sure if the BAU is somewhere I belong anymore."
She waits on baited breath as something flashes across his eyes; is it hurt, confusion, or a mix of both? It's gone too quickly for her to label it, but when Hotch sucks in a breath to speak, it's careful and slow.
"Why?" he asks her gently; their bodies are moving on autopilot now. "I thought things were getting better for you." I thought I was helping you through this.
Emily peers up at his face, reads the words unsaid clearly across his handsome face as she smiles somewhat disparagingly at him. "They have, in some ways," she promises him. She lets her hand slide along his chest, fingers gliding over his lapel and finding its place on his shoulder as they move slowly together. "It's…it's not you guys. It's nothing that you've done or didn't do." She inclines her head in a thoughtful, sheepish kind of shrug. "I just…need a change."
He bites the inside of his lip sadly; his head hangs low so that their foreheads are almost touching. "This isn't home to you anymore, is it?"
It's not some much a question so much as a rhetoric.
"No," Emily murmurs, and his heart plummets like a rock into his stomach at the sad confirmation. "No, it's not."
There's a long, thick silence between them, the only sounds that lead them are the music and the chatter of their friends and families around them, but none of that matters. The only thing that matters to him is that the woman in his arms is leaving, and the only thing that matters to the woman is his arms is that she's leaving him.
He hesitates to speak again; they're almost unmoving now, in a little corner of the dance floor. "Do I have a chance at convincing you otherwise?" he asks her, and there's a slight teasing goad in his voice, because he doesn't think he'll be able to take this seriously or he'll ruin the night for everyone.
It brings a twitch of a smile to Emily's lips, and he returns it without realizing. "No, but you're welcome to try," she quips softly.
A dimple appears on his cheek, but it's gone in a moment, and his eyes are gentle on her face now, searching. "Will you be happier in London?"
"No. Maybe. I can't say for sure. But I know I'll be happier there than I am here." The certainty in her voice is laced with a hopeful tinge, and he frowns.
"Why is that?"
Emily shrugs helplessly. She knows he's not going to let her go until they're finished talking, and though a part of her wishes he'd just waited until tomorrow morning, another part of her is relieved to have someone to tell all this to – someone she's always been able to be painfully honest and open with.
"It's a fresh start," she utters, and her eyes flicker up to meet his. "There are no Ian Doyles in London; no Lauren Reynolds. There isn't even an Emily Prentiss, but in time, I think I can deal with living her life again. Like you said, she's gone…."
"But you're still here." The whisper almost makes Emily shiver; there's so many things unspoken in his voice, and she can't afford to dissect them all or she'll lose herself to him, and leaving will be that much harder.
Tears threaten to well in her eyes as she swallows the lump in her throat, and she manages a husky murmur. "…I wish things didn't have to end like this."
He frowns down at her stubbornly, and she might be dreaming but she's almost certain she sees the gleam of tears in his own thickly lashed hazel eyes. "And who says they have to?" he counters. Now they're not moving at all; just two figures pressed impossibly close to one another, still holding onto each other in the dark shadow of the dance floor corner.
She shakes her head, dark hair falling over her face. "There's nothing here for me anymore." He wants to protest and insist otherwise, but she doesn't let him. "There's nothing left for me to stay for. You've moved on. All of you have. I...I don't fit into that picture anymore." She doesn't fit in this family anymore, and it hurts her, but she has to leave.
She has to learn to move on too.
"Yes you do. You fit, and you always will fit, Emily. No one can take your place," he persists, and his hands grip her tighter now, and there's suddenly very little space between them. They're so close together that he catches the whiff of cinnamon and vanilla in her hair and in her skin; he wonders if she tastes as sweet as she smells.
"Not even me?" she questions him now, eyes dark and clear as his forehead creases at her. "You said so yourself – the old me is dead, and I can't take her place anymore."
He makes a frustrated sound at the back of his throat; how did he forget how infuriatingly stubborn she is? "Why do you always do that?" he exclaims quietly, exasperation in his voice.
Emily wrinkles her brow at him. "Do what?"
"Must you always be so...enigmatic?" He shuffles on his feet, stomping the ground in a mild annoyance that Emily can't help but be amused by. She's always loved infuriating the man; it's become her favorite past time – teasing him. "It's incredibly infuriating, and yet…." He shakes his head incredulously.
And yet I can't help but fall even more in love with you.
Yet again, Emily gives him a disparaging shrug. "It's in my nature, I guess. No matter what name I go by."
And just like that, the dance ends; they move away from each other because the song has ended. Emily takes but a step away from Hotch before she is lurched forward by some unseen force behind her, and the woman finds herself caught in his arms, pressed tight to his chest.
Jack appears behind her sheepishly, grinning at her apologetically. "Sorry, Emmy," he tells her, and then tugs at her hand as his father steadies her on her feet. "Dance with me, Emmy, please? I haven't danced with you yet!" The little boy is adorably handsome in his little suit, and he beams up at Emily as the woman smiles down at him affectionately and takes his hand in hers.
"Of course, Jack-Attack," she replies, ignoring the surge of heat that the man's body elicited as she was pressed into his chest and his arms tight around her. His aftershave lingers in her memory as she leads Jack away, turning back once to cast a small smile at the man as he stands by and watches fondly. Her eyes darted to an approaching figure behind him, and her face darkened seriously.
Beth stands stiffly at his side, face cool as she regards Emily and Jack, and then Hotch. "I'd like to talk to you, Aaron."
If the detached, flat tone of her voice isn't a dead giveaway of what exactly she wants to talk about, it's the glances she keeps sending the woman dancing with his son. She does not look pleased at all.
Hotch nods his head carefully. "Of course," he murmurs, gesturing for Beth to retrace her steps back into the house; back into somewhere private with a door. "Why don't we go inside?"
As he follows Beth's displeased strides, he hazards one last glance back at Jack and Emily, and he catches the woman's eye. Her dark eyes are questioning and concerned. Has she done something to cause this conflict?
He gives her a small, reassuring smile in return. Dance on; things will be alright.
Things will be alright.
When Aaron Hotchner walks out of Dave's study, he walks out as a single man. The…discussion with Beth has worn him down; he runs a hand over his tired face as he turns back to where Beth is stepping out of the study behind him, face tight and eyes ablaze. "At least let me take you home," he asks her, but the woman shakes her head firmly.
"I've already asked your team member – Anderson, was it?" Beth shakes her head dismissively at him. "He's leaving anyways. It's not very far off from where I need to be." She needs a stiff drink – maybe five. She's just lost her boyfriend to a threat that didn't even know it existed.
He watches Beth walk away, a surprising amount of calmness and indifference in his chest. If he bothers to delve deeper into his subconscious, he'll realize that there's incredibly large amounts of relief in his chest too, but he doesn't. It'll only make him feel guiltier. With a heavy, exhausted sigh, he walks out down the hallway, in search of his son and the woman in the floral dress.
He's so deep in his thoughts that he almost walks into someone, and when he reels back, eyes wide with surprise, he finds his eyes settling on the very woman plaguing his thoughts. Emily's just coming in from the garden, a sleeping Jack on her shoulder. He doesn't want to linger on the thought of how perfect she looks holding his son, but again, he can't help himself.
Emily meets his eye with a slightly flustered smile, stroking her hand along the sleeping boy's back. "It looks like the little G-man had too much fun."
Hotch returns the smile, reaching out to ruffle his son's hair gently. Jack snuffles in his sleep, mumbling into Emily's shoulder as he wraps his little arms tighter around the woman's neck. His leg begins to twitch, and the man gives a breathy chuckle. "And a little too much cake, by the looks of it," he drawls, reaching to slide his arms around his son's frame. "Here, let me."
He tries to take his son from her, he truly does, but Jack has a deathly grip on Emily's neck, and it only tightens further when the boy's face wrinkles and he fusses irritably at being jostled from his position in the woman's arms. Jack lifts his head only briefly, just long enough to cast a very familiar glare at his father before dropping his head back onto Emily's shoulder. "No."
The man huffs at his son and tries again, but this time Jack makes a growling scream, and they are forced to yield to the boy when he begins to flail his legs about. The move has Emily faltering in her heels, and Hotch immediately reaches out to stabilize her; his hand resting along the small of her back.
Emily puffs out a breath, smiling dryly at the man as she tightens her hold soothingly on Jack's body. "He's getting very tall," she comments lightly, swaying just a touch to show the man his son's dangling feet, grinning at him when Hotch lifts his eyes to her in amusement. "He's getting to be just like his Daddy, isn't he?"
Hotch chuckles. "He'll be glad you said that," he tells her, shaking his head indulgently at his slumbering son's face. "He'll be glad you said that - it's his life ambition to - and I quote - 'beat Daddy at being tall'." He rolls his eyes benevolently, and Emily giggles at the image of Jack straining to reach over his father's head.
"Among other things, I hope," she laughs, shaking her head as she runs her hand through Jack's sandy hair affectionately. The boy has been particularly clingy to her since her return; she hasn't been able to spend as much time with him now – what with his father's new love life up and running, but when they do see each other, Jack is almost never apart from her.
"But of course," the man chortles, jerking his chin towards his son. "You're holding the first astronaut-FBI-agent-fireman. Who walks dogs in his spare time." Her laughter gives him feelings even more profound than he can stand - it drives him insane and he's not quite sure just yet how to act upon his feelings. They try again one last time to take Jack, without success.
He gives his oblivious son a disgruntled glare, and then an apologetic smile to Emily as the woman begins to shake her head fondly. There's a question on his tongue threatening to spew forward, and his son has only blessed him with a perfect opportunity of asking it. The only question now though is if he has enough balls to say it.
"Dave wouldn't happen to have a crowbar lying around, would he?" she quips, shifting Jack in her arms and smoothing out his jacket. He's not very heavy, just very tall, and Emily shakes her head when Hotch reaches out for his son again. "It's fine," she assures him, smiling slightly. "I've got him."
Hotch musters another huff, fixing a faux-serious gaze on the woman. "It seems that my son has discovered his Spiderman skills at the most inopportune time." He watches her face carefully; what he's about to say will definitely push a certain amount of his feelings to the forefront – if not all of his feelings to the front stage, and suddenly his palms are damp against his slacks.
"Would you...perhaps...like to come home with us?" he offers slowly, immediately lapsing into a sputtering clarification when Emily's eyes widen. "I mean – it's not like Jack's going to let go of you any time soon, and you must be getting tired. I was just -." Dear God, please just strangle him with his tie. Oh, no tie? A belt then – belts are stronger.
Before he can offer Emily his gun to pull the trigger, Emily hugs Jack close, eyeing him uncertainly as she licks her lips and chances a question of her own. "What about Beth?" It's been rather clear to them that Beth hasn't really taken to her, and she's hardly been losing sleep over it; she just doesn't want to step on toes and make things awkward for the Unit Chief.
Hotch shifts uncomfortably on his feet, rubbing the back of his neck as he makes a face that tells Emily just about everything she needs to know. "Ah...we've...found ourselves to be incompatible. Things weren't all as they seemed to be." He grimaces again, and Emily feels a rush of sympathy for the man. It's been so long since he's dated, she can sympathize with the novelty of starting a relationship losing its glamour. He regards her quietly, and in his face she can see the subtle hopefulness that makes him look much younger.
"Come home with us tonight; we both need to talk about some things." Emily bites her lip, and he hazards a touch along her arm, stroking the soft, pale skin. He tries his best not to give in to his whim; touching her is perhaps the sweetest sin he's committed, and he doesn't regret a single moment of his hand upon her skin. He meets her eye again, and this time he speaks quietly, intimately.
"We'll talk tomorrow morning, if you're too tired," he murmurs lowly, and Emily has to forcibly smother the shiver that runs along her spine. "You can take my bed, I'll take the couch. We'll talk over breakfast or something." He smothers the warmth in his stomach at the thought of waking to her deliciously sleep-rumpled and dressed in one of his shirts, standing by the island counter sipping coffee.
It stuns him to know how much he truly wants her in his bed; in his arms and in his life. At how much he wants her, period.
Emily looks torn between acceptance and denial; she bites down so hard on her lip he can see the smallest hint of blood from the corner of her mouth before her tongue darts out and it disappears. He waits for her to speak; waits like she's about to give him his death sentence or life's wish, and he can't help the hopeful gleam of his eyes when a small, shy smile begins to form on her delicious red mouth.
"… a nightcap sound good to you?"
"To love is to risk not being loved in return. To hope is to risk pain. To try is to risk failure, but risk must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing." - Author Unknown