“Really?” Erin whispered as Dave cuddled closer to her.
They had been spooning as they slept but now it was clear to Erin, even half-asleep, that her lover was awake. He wanted attention.
“Good morning, baby.” He brushed the strap of her camisole aside and gently bit her shoulder.
“It’s not time to wake up. What time…you know what I don’t even want to know what time it is. It’s not time to wake up, David.”
“Erin…” he whispered it in a sing song way. Then he brushed her hair aside and kissed the nape of her neck.
“You cannot be serious.”
Not serious about wanting her? She must've been the one who wasn’t serious. Dave was horny as hell. It had been almost three weeks since the couple had made love. Dave and Erin hated letting three days go by…three weeks was nothing short of torturous.
There were lots of times when Dave wasn’t even in town but they always managed to be as romantic as the distance allowed. He wasn’t out of town, he was home, and his bedroom was as chaste as a nun’s. They cuddled, kissed, and slept. They slept. Dave thought he was going to lose it.
He’d resorted to taking a lot of showers lately. They weren't cold. Dave Rossi was jerking off. It wasn’t that he thought it was sinful, it was just wrong. A beautiful woman in his bed every night and he jerked off. It was like they were married already.
“Noah is sound asleep Erin. He's asleep and he’s not going to hear us. We’re separated by an entire bedroom.”
“I…” Erin sighed, turning on her back.
That was probably the wrong move since Dave was immediately on her. He could be a shark sometimes. He loved to play the predator and Erin was the prey. She loved it too. But he didn’t know anything about having a toddler in the house. They didn’t do things like knock or take into consideration that “mommy” and daddy needed or wanted privacy. It wasn’t that they were rude but they were toddlers. It freaked Erin out, the idea of Noah walking, running, or barging in on them.
“I love you so much.” he trailed kisses across her throat. “I miss you baby.”
“I'm right here.”
“Your body is here,” he lifted her top to stroke her stomach. “I want your body.”
“David…” she couldn’t help but kiss him.
Erin wanted him too. So many times she’d thought of scheduling some afternoon delight but couldn’t bring herself to do it. Work was important, and it helped keep her mind off the sex she wasn’t having. Being Section Chief of the BAU was busy and intense. Then she would go home and take care of Noah.
Somehow, almost against her will, she’d become mommy. Dave was there, and she was glad, but she couldn’t help but adore Noah. There were movies in the evening, help with dinner, bath time, and bedtime stories. By the time she got into bed at night, Erin was exhausted.
She was doing it all over again in the morning getting Noah ready for daycare. Both she and Dave wanted him home with a sitter or au pair. It was something they worked on when they had the time. They just hadn't had the time to devote to it. Soon though; they both kept saying soon.
She smiled as his hand slipped inside her sleep shorts. It was early; maybe they could get a little something something in before it was time for Noah to wake up. With the grey, rainy morning, he might even be drowsier than usual. Erin arched her back when he touched her skin. Their kisses were deeper, more passionate; the fire was stoked in both of them.
“I love you baby.” He murmured against her lips. “I just wanna love you.”
Dave was almost there, he could feel it. He could feel the surrender coming off of her skin. It had been so long…all he wanted to do was show her how much she turned him on. Dave was happy that she was still there with them and getting along great with Noah.
It was amazing to him how much he loved watching her be a mother figure. He got to see her laugh, play, smile, and relax. There was no Strauss when she played with Noah. It wasn’t as if he didn’t have a thing for Strauss, but Erin gave him more joy than he could ever put into words.
They were so into each other neither heard the door move open. It was never completely closed at night anyway. Even before Noah came to live with them they kept it open for Mudgie to come and go as he pleased. Since Noah’s arrival both boy and dog had been sleeping in the guest room next to the Erin’s special room. Now the three year old was walking into the bedroom. He stopped midway between the door and the bed, could hardly see in the darkness.
“Ma'am?” he said it in hushed tone. The darkness meant people were asleep and he didn’t want to be too loud. “Ma'am?” No one was listening to him though he saw daddy and Erin moving on the bed. Maybe it was OK to talk just a little louder. “Ma'am! Ma'am I gotta go pee pee!”
Erin screamed and Dave rolled off of her, nearly falling off the bed. Noah didn’t move. She flipped on the light to look at him, all of them squinting from the harshness.
“Ma'am, c'mon, I gotta pee pee.”
“OK sweetie,” she rushed to make her clothes look somewhat presentable and got out of the bed.
Taking Noah’s hand, Erin took him into the master bathroom. It was better than walking down the hall. That would've been difficult being jarred like she was. Her legs were jelly from her adventures with Dave. Noah’s step stool wasn’t in there so Erin made him sit on the toilet to go. That turned into something messier than she would have liked. So after holding him up to the sink to wash his hands, she sent him back into the bedroom and cleaned up the mess.
Dave lay in bed with his hand over his eyes. It was early, he was tired, but he woke for a reason. As much as he adored his son, Noah wasn’t it. He uncovered his eyes when he felt like he was being watched.
“Hey Noah.” Dave smiled. “You feel better now?”
“Yeah,” he nodded. “Can I get in the big bed?”
The bed in his room wasn’t small but he still called their bed the big bed. Dave had started decorating the guest room for his son. So far it was mostly Buzz Lightyear, as that seemed to be Noah’s favorite thing. Even though he only had a twin bed, with a spaceship bed frame, he was so small that it was like an ocean for him.
“C'mon up, bud.”
Noah smiled, running and climbing on the bed. It took a minute; Dave finally gave him a helping hand. Noah seemed content snuggled up with his dad. Dave put his arm around him and closed his eyes.
If they hurried they could still get a couple of hours before they all had to be up and out. He decided he would do all the washing and dressing this morning. Erin had enough responsibility. She wasn’t even sure how she felt about this situation and she jumped in with both feet. Dave needed to make sure he was holding his own as well.
When Erin came out of the bathroom, she couldn’t help but smile. Dave and Noah were in bed and they were both falling asleep again. It was really the cutest thing she’d ever seen. It didn’t make her feel any better about being jarred from bed and cleaning up toddler pee but it was still adorable.
“Perhaps I should go and sleep in the spaceship bed.” she said.
“Stay with us.” Noah said.
“What he said.” Dave pointed to his son.
Smiling, Erin got back into the bed. That’s when she saw it was 4:45am; the sigh came out involuntary. She looked at the two of them. Dammit, she was hopeless for them both. Maybe she was just hopeless. Erin didn’t even know if she wanted this. It was better not to think about it right now. She wanted to sleep.
“Goodnight.” She leaned over and kissed Dave. Then she kissed Noah. He wanted a hug too so Erin gave him one and then turned over and closed her eyes. It was probably going to be a long day.
“Good morning.” Hotch walked into the kitchen as Prentiss and Morgan made their coffee.
“What?” he stopped and looked at them.
“Nothing.” Morgan shook his head.
He didn’t want to bother Hotch. The man looked as if he wasn’t getting any sleep lately. But how could he when a psychopath was on the loose and Hotch was in his crosshairs? How could he when his son was God knows where? Jack was being protected by the best, Haley too, but it was clearly starting to take a toll on their Unit Chief. Everyone could see it but no one wanted to talk about it. When you talked about it, it became real.
“Alright.” Hotch nodded, reaching into the cabinet for an FBI mug and the tea bags.
“What's going on with Dave?” Emily asked.
“What do you mean?” Hotch turned around again.
“What do I mean? C'mon Hotch, young people have been walking in and out of his office for days. I was a bit suspicious when all I saw was well dressed young women but then lately I've seen a few men. What is he doing?”
“I have no idea.”
“You have no idea?” Morgan raised an eyebrow.
“No.” Hotch shook his head. “Ask Dave if you want to know.”
“You're not concerned?” Emily asked. “I'm a bit concerned.”
“Concern is what you guys call it now?”
“What is that supposed to mean?”
Hotch had been joking but he could tell that Emily didn’t take it that way. Things had been on edge for everyone lately and his relationship was no different. Hotch didn’t even know if he could even call it a relationship at the moment. He’d been pushing Emily away; he wanted to keep her safe. She didn’t like it but in the end there was nothing she could do but comply with his wishes.
Then there were other times when he needed her more than anything. Those nights when Hotch went to her he felt nothing but guilt. It wasn’t right to use her for just one thing. It wasn’t right because Emily was more than that. She had been from the first time.
But there was just too much on Hotch’s shoulders. He feared if he added that element, even though it had been there for a couple of years, he would surely collapse. All he could do at the moment was put one foot in front of the other. Knowing what Rossi was doing in his office didn’t fall under that blanket.
“I know he's working on a research for a new book. He could be hiring an assistant.”
“An assistant?” Morgan asked.
“He's a busy man. He can't do it all so maybe he’s finally going to let someone else help.”
“Wow, what a concept.” Emily said, walking out of the kitchen.
Derek wanted to say something but it was just too damn awkward. He added more sugar to his coffee and left. Hotch sighed, going back to his tea. It was going to be a long day. They were all long days lately. He would get through it though…he’d been getting through it.
“Thank you for your time but the position has been filled.”
The young woman looked at him, sighed, and shook his hand before leaving. Dave sighed too. He sat back in his chair, opened the drawer and threw all the files in. Then he slammed it shut. This was not going as well as he would like.
Why the hell was it so hard? He didn’t mind taking his time; finding a sitter for his son was not something to be taken lightly. But he was working with the two best agencies in the DC Corridor and Dave wasn’t happy. These were the people Senators, judges, and the wealthy chose to care for their children.
He found something wrong with every person who came through the door. The position hadn't been filled but that’s what he told the last candidate. Maybe she felt that tight ass outfit would get her the job with some powerful man with a wandering eye but it wasn’t going to work for him. It damn sure wasn’t going to work for the woman in his life.
“What's going on?” Hotch walked into Dave’s office without knocking and closed the door. He didn’t usually do things like that but Morgan and Prentiss weren't the only ones curious about the “interviewing” going on behind the closed door.
“I don’t even know where to begin.” Dave drank the last of his coffee and wished he had more.
“The beginning is good. I have a little time and I want to know, Dave. Something is going on and I'm concerned.”
“You don’t need to be.”
“You need to talk to me.” Hotch said.
“Is that my boss talking or my friend?” Dave asked.
“I don’t think it matters. If you want to talk to me, you will. If you want to evade me, you will.”
“Do you remember L.A. four years ago?”
“After the BAU left I stayed for a few months to finish my book. There was this woman…”
“This is for you.”
Erin put the file in his lap as Dave sat outside enjoying the night air. He looked up at her but she was already heading back into the house.
“Hey, where are you going? You should stay and have a drink.”
“I'm exhausted, David.”
“I'm tired too.”
“I know that but you're supposed to be. You're the parent. And yet I was one cleaning toddler pee in the bathroom at 4:30 this morning.”
“Stop.” She held up her hand. “I didn’t sign on for this. God, I don’t want to be selfish; I don’t want to be a bitch. But I didn’t sign on for this. Your son is amazing. He is adorable and funny and smart and I want to hug him…a lot. But he’s three years old and my job, my life…I don’t know if I can do this.”
“What's this file?” Dave asked. His throat felt constricted but he got the words out.
She’d been good for the past three weeks but he felt this coming. She was going to leave him. Erin was going to walk away and there was nothing he could do about it. Noah was here to stay. Dave was a father and no matter what he had to do his best to be good at it.
“It’s the final three in the nanny search. I love you but you're not good at this. You're going to find fault with everyone. There are two men and a woman in there. I think a man might be better, someone Noah can roughhouse and be a little boy with. I also know most fathers don’t like it because they’re afraid their son might not see them as the hero anymore. Just take a look at them, do second interviews, and then you’ll choose.”
“Can we choose?” Dave asked. “Can we do the interviews together? Obviously you're better at this than I am. We need to do it soon; I don’t know how much longer I'm going to be in town.”
“Just look over the file. I'm going to have a glass of wine and take a bath.”
“Noah is sound asleep.”
“I know. I looked in on him. He must have had a long day. It’s great when they’re worn out. Did you clean up the bathroom?”
“Yes.” Dave nodded.
“Alright. I’ll say goodnight now.”
She walked over and gave him a kiss. Dave held onto her hand so she couldn’t walk away. Erin sighed but stood him up and wrapped her arms around him. She hated feeling like this. She hated the idea of leaving him, leaving Noah.
Just three weeks in and she felt so invested. Actually it was two years in. The thought of leaving him made her sick. It literally made her sick. But the nausea passed, Erin let go, and she walked into the house.
Dave sat back down, opening the file. This needed to be done tonight. They couldn’t do this alone anymore and that wasn’t a reflection on them. Dave had money; he could afford things that other people couldn’t. And right now he needed someone to help take care of his son. As soon as that issue was handled he could figure out a way to save his relationship. Dave Rossi didn’t need it all anymore but he was sure he needed Erin.