Penelope needed to talk to Derek. It was late but she knew she wouldn’t be able to sleep without talking to him first. So, taking a deep breath, she fished her phone from her large leather bag and dialed his number. He answered quickly, he always did; she could tell that he had been asleep, and a twinge of remorse hit her.
“H-hello?” he answered groggily.
“Derek, can we talk?”
He was awake now, pulling himself up in bed.
“Baby Girl, is that you?”
“Yes Derek, it’s me.”
“What’s wrong, are you okay?”
She heard the panic in his voice.
“No, no, I mean, yes, I’m okay.”
Derek exhaled and turned on the light next to his bed. Then rubbing his eyes, he waited for her to speak again.
“I’m sorry to wake you.”
“No, it’s okay, really.”
“I’m not ready to give up.”
“What are you talking about?”
“I’m not ready to give up on us and I’m sorry for pushing you away; for choosing Sam instead of giving us a chance.”
“Baby Girl, all I want is you. All I’ve ever wanted is you. I just didn’t think...”
“You didn’t think what?”
“I didn’t think you felt the same way.”
Wednesday Morning -
The team had arrived early and begun their day in the busy downtown precinct. Everyone noticed that Derek was in a better mood. They’d gotten used to his sour disposition ever since he and Savannah split; they’d assumed that it would lead to him and Penelope getting together but it didn’t. Instead, she had plunged headfirst into a relationship with Sam. They both were miserable, and Hotch and the others had grown tired of trying to make sense of it all. But this morning was different, he was chipper, and he did something that he hadn’t done in months; he smiled.
Penelope felt hopeful; she also felt sad, and a new wave of guilt quickly replaced the joy and the hope that had gotten her through the night after her phone call with Derek. She knew what she had to do, and she knew that for a second time it would me that Sam would be hurt. He’d bought the idea of them not once but twice, but she had to end things with him. As she made her way toward the kitchen, the wilting roses on her table reminded her that Valentine’s was a week away and it was a sucky time to break up with someone. Still, she had to do what she had to do.
Sam pulled the small velvet box from his desk drawer. He’d done this every morning ever since he had decided to propose to Penelope. He knew Valentine’s proposals were so predictable, but it seemed right especially for him who’d never thought he’d find someone to marry and until Penelope, Sam hadn’t a clue on how to be romantic, and spontaneous. As much as he wanted a future with Penelope, Sam wasn’t foolish enough to believe that she felt the same about him. Still, he took a leap, bought the ring and now he was making plans for the biggest decision in his life.
Della was anxious to see Savannah. She wanted to hear about Sam’s visit, and she wanted to spend the day with sweet little DJ. She looked forward to seeing Savanna smile again and she knew that that wouldn’t happen until she and Derek were back together; that would be soon, she thought just as she rang the doorbell...very, very soon.
Savannah rushed toward the front of the house and opened the door. Della smiled brightly as Savannah stepped aside to let her in. DJ was still sleeping so the two had a few free minutes to chat.
“So, how was the visit with Sam yesterday?”
“Just as I thought; he spent a few minutes with DJ and then he wanted to make sure I was still going through with changing DJ’s birth certificate.”
“I told him I would. The only reason Derek was listed is because we were married when the baby was born and so Derek was automatically listed as his father and...”
“...and you were hoping that Derek really was his father.”
“Yeah, and if Sam hadn’t insisted on a DNA test, he would still be Derek’s son.”
“Is he going to be a problem, Savannah?”
“Who, Sam? No, I don’t think so; he has a lot to lose too.”
“Because, if he is, I know people...”
The two chuckled at the thought.
“I’m not worried about Sam, he’s harmless.”
“Don’t be too sure Savannah. Everybody has their breaking point. I mean how well do you really know Sam?”
“I hear you but you’re sounding like Derek now. He was always profiling people,” she joked.
“I’m just saying that the least likely are the ones who will stab you in the heart while smiling in your face.”
“Okay, Della, okay now you’re starting to scare me.”
“Who me? Nah, I’m just kidding and besides, I’m harmless.”
BAU Headquarters – Afternoon
Penelope occupied herself with work and whenever Sam came to mind, she quickly pushed the thoughts aside and focused on work. This case was a difficult one with very few leads which made her searches hard and so far, all of them had led to dead ends. Then her phone rang.
“What can I do for you my sweet?”
He could hear her smile and he smiled too. It felt good to be on track with her again.
“I need your help Baby Girl.”
“Anything for you, Hot Stuff.”
“We think that we may be looking for a team.”
“A gang of serial killers, yikes!”
“Yes, I’m afraid so. Each victim was found in different subdivisions of the city, but all of them were killed in the same way.”
“So, couldn’t it still be the same person?”
“It could but at each crime scene there was a different calling card left on the victim’s forehead.”
“Okay, so I’m looking for what exactly?”
“Listen, the unsubs literally left calling cards, or more specifically, they left playing cards.”
“Okay, I’m with you now.”
“Look for any recent failed business dealings, breakups, any losses of any kind and then cross it with the things we already know about the victims.”
“Like the fact that they all frequented the same downtown clubs and bars.”
“You got it! Oh, and Garcia...”
“The sooner we close this case, the sooner I’m back home with you.”
“Ohhh, there’s nothing I want more, handsome!”
“I love you.”
“I love you too, hot stuff.”
Sam closed the box and slid it back in the drawer. His heart was heavy, he should be happy and confident that the woman he loved, loved him back, but Sam was nervous and anxious; he wasn’t sure at all. It was the week before Valentine’s Day and the woman he loved more than anything was still a mystery to him. She’d stretched him past his comfort zone, and he was grateful. She had encouraged him to be spontaneous and it had served him well. Now, he was about to pop the question on a day that felt safe to do so, but there was something in the forefront of his mind and even though she had chosen to be with him, he felt Derek Morgan’s presence.
Sam was tired of feeling as if Penelope’s best friend was always in the room; always. He knew not to bring it up, he knew that was the last straw that had killed her relationship with Kevin and no matter how many times she swore that there was no future for her and the agent, Sam still felt uneasy. Perhaps that was his motivation in asking her to marry him. Penelope was loyal if nothing else and even though she didn’t love him like she loved Derek, marriage would make her stay and once he had a ring on her finger, Penelope would do anything and everything to make them work.
But what if he were wrong, what if she said, no. Sam couldn’t bear to hear her say, no and having Penelope reject him again...then Sam plopped down in the chair and reached for the bottom drawer and pulled out a larger box. He hadn’t thought about it in years. Then fishing a small key from his pocket, he opened the box. For a moment he looked at its contents before carefully removing it. It was heavy and he’d only had it in his hands a few times when he’d taken it for target practice at the range. He’d purchased it for protection after a few break-ins nearby.
“I love you Penelope, but I can’t, and I won’t lose you to Derek Morgan...not again...not again.”
About the Creator
I adore words and I love what happens when we grab them, sleep with them, holler and scream and laugh at them! I love what happens when we throw them in the air and watch them fall magically from our minds onto paper!