Running To You Chapter 1
“I love you!”
“I love you, too.”
“No, I love you…I’m in love with you!”
He looked into her glassy eyes speechless. She looked back waiting for his response but he simply stood in the middle of the floor with his mouth open in shock.
“Baby Girl, I think I better take you home you’ve had one too many shots and…”
“No, I’m not ready to go home…did you hear what I just said?”
“Yeah, I heard you and…
“And I think you’re going to hate yourself in the morning.”
“No…I won’t…” She slurred.
They’d spent the last twenty minutes dancing and holding each other ignoring the world. He’d imagined holding her like this so many times but he had never been successful in getting her to dance with him until tonight. Now she was drunk off her ass and confessing feelings for him and he didn’t know what to say. He wrapped his arm tightly around her waist and pulled her close against his body. He could feel everyone’s eyes on them and he needed to get her out of there.
He loved her, of course he loved her; he’d even told her as much but it had not changed anything between them. He was still her best friend and she had ended up in the arms of Kevin Lynch less than two hours later. Morgan couldn’t remember a time when he wasn’t in love with Penelope Garcia…he wondered what she would say in the morning.
Home of Penelope Garcia – Morning –
But she did remember…every word. Penelope gingerly pulled her head from beneath four layers of bedding only to be greeted mockingly by the bright sunrays that had let themselves in through her bedroom window. It was quiet in her small apartment except for the sound of the loud thunderous headache she’d earned from last night’s drinking.
She wanted a do-over; another chance to choose to keep her mouth shut. But there would be no do-over and she knew it. How would she face her best friend ever again and the fact that he was not snoring on her couch or next to her in bed spoke volumes. He’d brought her home and respectfully left her in her clothes depositing her semi-conscious body into bed and covered her up. The sound of her door closing and the lock sliding into place made everything so final. She wanted to call him to apologize but even that seemed a little desperate. He’d only try to make her feel better and make excuses for her behavior. Maybe she could convince him that she had fallen on her head earlier in the day and had scrambled her marbles. It was hopeless…she was hopeless…hopelessly in love with Derek Morgan…and now he knew.
Home of Derek Morgan –
He hadn’t slept a wink since returning from Garcia’s place. He felt like a coward for not telling her that he was in love with her too. He wanted nothing more than to take her home and make love to her while whispering in her ear that he loved her and wanted her…them…forever and ever. But he didn’t do any of those things. He just did what he did best. He ran. Now what? What was he supposed to say or do now?
He lost count of the times he’d picked up his phone to call her. In fact, at least a dozen of those times he’d pulled up her number, finger hovering over the send button but at the last second pulled it away and shoved the phone back into his pocket. He was a coward, certifiable, undeniable…a coward. There was nothing more in the world he wanted then to be with Penelope Marie Garcia but the thing that he wanted the most also was the thing…the person that scared the hell out of him.
Derek needed a distraction because all he could see was the look in her eyes when he didn’t say it back. He simply stood there in front of all of their friends like a deer in headlights and watched the hope and longing in her eyes morph into utter humiliation as he grabbed their things, made some lame excuse and whisked her from the bar. Yup, a coward…a stone, cold, shameful coward. He didn’t deserve her, she was the most amazing woman in the world and somehow she loved him. How could he be such a fool and let her slip through his fingers? He didn’t know but he had to do something and quick before it was too late. Then pulling the phone from his pocket he took a deep breath and dialed.
Home of Will and JJ LaMontagne –
“The man, the myth…the track star…”
He closed his eyes as the familiar New Orleans drawl teased in his ear.
“I’m sorry, man it’s just I’ve never seen a man make an exit like that before.”
“Okay, okay…is JJ home?”
“Yeah let me get her. Oh and good luck ‘cuz she is hotter than fish grease!”
“Great, just great!”
JJ came around the corner with their youngest in her arms. She knew exactly who it was and the sideways grin on her husband’s face confirmed it. Will pulled Michael from her arms and handed her the phone. She wanted to kill her clueless friend for hurting her best friend. The two had danced around their feelings for each other for too many years. It took one of them getting out of control drunk to finally say something. She wanted to ring Derek’s neck for reacting the way he did. Garcia would never get over the look on his face and theirs. Damn it what a mess!
“You are so dead, Derek Morgan! DEAD!”
“Do you know what you did? Or should I say what you didn’t do?”
“Derek if you don’t love Garcia you need to tell her…she’s humiliated, embarrassed…she’s already called me crying her eyes out!”
“I know I wasn’t thinking! Of course I love Garcia, I do but…”
He’d never admitted it out loud at least not to her. Everyone they knew could see the love between them but he’d never said it out loud. She was wondering if he realized what he’d just said.
“I love her.”
“You love her like a friend…a best friend or are you in love with her?”
“I’m in love with her, JJ! I’ve always loved her, okay? Now I’ve said it! Are you happy now?”
“Then why didn’t you say something last night? She risked everything last night and you just stood there!”
“I-I thought she was just caught up…I don’t know…I thought it was the alcohol…I mean come on JJ, what would somebody so amazing and beautiful like Garcia want with somebody like me? Damn, she could have anybody…”
“But she wants you! Hell I don’t get it either, but they say love is blind, death, crazy…”
“Okay, okay…I get it JJ.”
JJ covered her mouth to keep from laughing. She felt bad for him even though she still wanted to strangle him. He and Penelope were pathetic. She and the others had their work cut out for them if they were ever going to get these two together.
“So what are you going to do to fix this Derek?”
“I don’t know…I need your help! Please!”
“Right about now you need a miracle!”
Home of Penelope Garcia –
Penelope pulled the large suitcase from her closet. She couldn’t stay. She couldn’t look at Derek and see the pity, not from him…not from any of them. How could she ever think that Derek Morgan could possibly in a million years love her? Kevin and Sam had been right Derek didn’t see her that way. She’d managed all these years to keep her feelings a secret from him but last night…last night was…too much. They were too close and he smelled so incredible and he’d held her on that dance floor like she was the only woman in the room. Now she knew that it was just her imagination and the alcohol…way too much alcohol. She felt like a fool.
Just as she threw the last item in her bag the doorbell rang. She’d called Reid and he’d agreed to drive her to the airport. He’d tried in vain to change her mind but all the statistics and reasoning had fallen on deaf ears. Dragging the bag on its wheels behind her she rushed to the front door and without looking through the peephole she slung the door open.